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Although your business may be thriving, the threat of stagnation is always looming. People used to say that the business requirement should always drive the technology choice and while that is still largely true – how do you demystify emerging technologies when grappling with choosing a framework that will bring the most value?
The implications of technology as a whole are a lot greater in today’s day and age, partly because a lot of things are interconnected now – a massive difference from twenty years ago.
Twenty years ago you basically had point solutions, you needed to find specific systems, which evolved to integrated systems and now the internet has allowed everything to be connected – not just for all your internal systems, but your external systems as well.
1. Learn to harness new technologies to transform your business
Unless you learn, from a business level, about new technology – what it could do, how long it takes to implement – you might be unaware of what is possible and will not be ambitious enough with your business strategy.
You don’t need to understand all of the implications of technology. As long as you understand what it could do and why is it important, that’s the learning level business needs to get to.
So, track emerging technologies and interpret their impact on your (global) industry. This will help you and your clients create, define, market, purchase, implement and get the most benefits out of your next-generation software systems and solutions.
2. Do not get discouraged by the vocabulary
People mustn’t be afraid by the idea that they’d have to learn a whole new vocabulary in order to understand what technology can do. Technology should always be described in words that non-technology people can understand. However, as so often is with these things, technology people talk as any group of people who do something really cool and who want to show everyone that they’re doing something cool – they end up, even subconsciously, talking in a language that listeners might not fully understand.
People are impressed by technology-filled talks, but really it should be the other way – to truly impress people, one should be able to express something that is hideously complicated in simple terms.
That’s the trick at demystifying technology – because it’s not in human nature to simplify and it’s why one needs third-parties and consulting companies to help with understanding technology, to be able to put it into simpler terms and explain the business implications.
This is a step both sides should get better at – to which end people have started influencing the education system already.
3. Weight your options carefully
Keep in mind that like with any and all emerging technologies, you’ve got to be careful about instantly adopting the first option that you hear. If you’re talking to vendors of AI solutions, they will make their case about how AI will solve all your problems; if you’re talking to Blockchain vendors, then in their opinion, Blockchain will solve all your problems. Think about what you’re trying to achieve and then pick an appropriate technology.
4. Think about requirements first
You should not be looking at technology and then working out what your business does. You should first be looking at what your Customers do, what your business does and what it requires.
Then, if you’ve taken into account step 2 and are aware of emerging technologies, you will know what your boundaries are. You will probably find that they are a lot farther than they used to be.
Your connection with your Customers, for example. IoT allows you to literally take data straight from something you’ve just sold to a Customer, and generate sales data, marketing data, quality of manufacturing data, etc. out of that. The implications of technology are so much broader – and you have to have an understanding of it, while not at a bits and a bytes level, but at the very high level.
Whether you are an older, well-established business or are new to your industry, these four steps to demystifying emerging technologies can help provide your business with that much-needed push to avoid stagnation.
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