The intricacies of new technology can be disruptive and this can cause businesses to stray away from their core objectives. As long as management allows technology to disrupt business, it will continue to do so. This is according to Michael de Andrade, CEO of information solutions specialist, EnterpriseWorx.
"We allow ourselves to become entangled in the intricacies of new technology. Technology-led change can enhance our work and private lives. However, technology in itself will not bring about improvements in our business operations. Business operates in a complex eco-system of economic, social and political influences and one cannot rely on technology to provide all the answers. The introduction of new technologies must be aligned with the organisation's business model and strategic objectives."
De Andrade says there are two elements to be considered. "First, potentially disruptive technologies can be harnessed if they are aligned with the organisation's vision and its current business processes. The business model can determine the type of technology needed to drive modernisation and streamline operations.
Technology must be humanised
"Second, organisations should be flexible enough to embrace technology that can lead to the development of new and innovative business models. Amazon - as it transformed itself from an organisation selling hard-copy books to one selling virtual books - used technology to create a new business model."
However, new technology and processes are only as effective as those implementing them. "We must humanise technology and its implementation. If we don't address the people factor, any technology improvements will be disruptive. In short, technology is as disruptive as you allow it to be. If we don't have the right people and processes in place to unlock the power of new technologies, such as cloud computing, advanced analytics and customer behaviour analysis, the organisation will get lost in technology disruption and will lose its competitive advantage.
The true value of data
"In an era of big data, it is important to get a sense of the true value of the data. If the business model dictates that the use of advanced data analytics can generate real insight from apparent chaos, then the organisation should go ahead. If, on the other hand, the organisation doesn't apply proper data management methodologies and doesn't know what data it needs to meet the strategic objectives of shareholders and the executive team, it will likely get lost in the detail," De Andrade says.
The technology cannot stand alone and must be embedded in the business strategy. "The CIO and his team need to communicate this intertwined relationship to the board and throughout the organisation. If organisations adapt their business models to allow for innovation and adhere to strong project management disciplines, the transition to new technologies should be a smooth one," he concludes.
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