Technology changes the way in which we work, live our lives, and have fun. Technology can empower businesses with improvements in productivity, faster development and production cycles, superior decision making by employees, and enhanced customer service. But deriving these advantages of incorporating new technology is not at all times an easy process. Technology is frequently, at first, disruptive before it becomes empowering.
Although the ideas developed in this informative article could have general applicability, they are mainly designed to relate solely to the incorporation of new information and communications technologies into business processes. Information technologies involve computers and their peripheral equipment in addition to the information flow across local area networks. Communications involve any voice and video activity including calling system and related equipment in addition to the communications pathways creating the wide area networks.
Technology Changes Business Processes
Every action conducted within a company is part of just one process or another. Sometimes the processes are often defined and readily observable, as in the road of a purchase order. At other times, the method is not so clear but nevertheless it still exists even if by default.
New technologies are introduced into business to:
- Accelerate existing processes
- Extend the capabilities of existing processes
- Change the processes
In changing the processes, the newest technologies will often allow new methods for conducting business that have been not previously possible.
Other than simply speeding up existing processes, new technologies is going to be disruptive when first introduced.This results from having to improve patterns of behavior and/or relationships with others. When disruption occurs, productivity often suffers at first, until such time as the newest processes become as familiar as the old ones. At this point, hopefully, the goal has been achieved of reaching a greater amount of productivity than the level of which it started before the introduction of the newest technology.
Therefore a typical cycle that occurs with the introduction of new technologies includes:
- Lower productivity, and, finally,
- A greater plateau of productivity than the starting place
The most obvious goals for introducing new technologies are to:
- Minimize the disruption
- Minimize enough time it takes to increase productivity
- Maximize the gain in productivity
In achieving these goals it is helpful to understand the:
- Context in that the processes operate, that is, who is going to be impacted by changes in the specific processes affected
- Democratizing potential of technology
- Types of people that will react in very different methods to new technologies
The processes through which a company operates and the introduction of new technologies don’t exist in isolation.Both of these exist within a context that may be an integral part of and affect
- The social relationships inside an organization and possibly with companies with whom you conduct business
- Political (power) structures inside an organization
- How individuals view themselves and their abilities
Technology may be democratizing. When it is used to generate and disseminate information helpful to the mission and goals of the company, it can be a great equalizer between “levels” of management and staff. The main element word is “disseminate.” technology If use of the data is decentralized, and easy communication of the data is allowed, then “front line” workers can improve the number and quality of decisions they make and never having to involve layers of management.
Types of People from a Technology Perspective
From a perspective of introducing new technology into your company, you might find it helpful to understand the next four types of people:
Innovators/embracers will investigate new technologies on the own. They will sometimes be helpful to introducing new technologies that would otherwise not need been proven to the company. They will sometimes be described as a “thorn” in pushing for new technologies they believe is going to be useful (or just “neat” to have) but do not fit the company’s agenda or objectives. These people will embrace new technologies when introduced by others, will often be the first ones to totally incorporate and make use of it, and could help others to totally utilize new technologies.
Enthusiasts need new technology enthusiastically. They won’t usually seek it out but is going to be eager to add it into their processes where appropriate. As a result of their openness, they will often readily learn how to use the new technology and are often useful in assisting others through the educational process.