Deciding When to Make a Technology Shift

Published on: 09 Jan, 2018
Deciding When to Make a Technology Shift
Deciding When to Make a Technology Shift
Because information technology (IT) advances so quickly, enterprises often must decide whether to adopt new technology. When this decision is incorrectly made, business productivity can suffer. On the other hand, by following the correct steps and making the correct decision at the right time, an enterprise can reach new heights.

Understand the Technology
Embracing new technology as soon as it arrives is not enough; knowledge of the technology before implementation is equally important. Obtaining this knowledge requires investing in the right people for the technology adoption. Companies should designate the proper human resources to grapple with new technology, study its pros and cons, and brief executives accordingly. Understanding any new technology also requires ensuring the technology is relevant to the company’s objectives.

Prepare for the Change
Change is difficult. People like to stay where they are. New procedures are difficult to adopt. Abrupt change can heavily impact a workforce. Top management must ensure that enterprises are ready for changing technology. To create an environment always ready to embrace new technologies, encourage forward-looking learning activities. Such activities might include seminars on upcoming technologies, brainstorming sessions on the latest academic research and industrial breakthroughs, and internal research and development.

Ascertain the Need
The whole business world is influenced by rapid IT advancements. However, the urgency of implementing new technology varies for different types of enterprises. Each enterprise should analyze whether new technology is stable, immediately necessary, properly tested and directly related to specific enterprise functions. If new technology is adopted without first being determined to meet a relevant need, the enterprise is likely to only act as a test bed for upcoming technologies.

Analyze the Costs and Benefits
In order to ensure that new technology properly benefits an enterprise, professionals should always conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis before any adoption.
For example, sometimes, when a new technology is directly related to an enterprise, the enterprise may have to be an early adopter of that technology. While there are always risks in adopting new technologies in the embryonic stage, delaying the technology shift might cause the enterprise to lag behind competitors. This is one example of a situation requiring careful risk analysis.

Jumping into unknown waters without first measuring the risks and benefits involved is unwise.  While all systems may require replacement and revamping, making such changes without proper analysis might result in loss of productivity.

Select the Right Advisors
Because new technologies typically result from academic research and industrial initiatives by technical experts, these experts tend to have the best initial understanding of the new technology. However, do not expect technical people to be experts on market trends and business intricacies. Only by combining the expertise of both enterprise technical and business staff can technology adoption be appropriately recommended. It is one thing to understand technologies like cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, but it is more important to understand how that technology can impact specific business prospects.

Adopt a Proper Methodology
Every change has different repercussions for people and processes. Some changes are smoothly undertaken while others can be very turbulent. Change management plays a very important role in successful technology shifts. Enterprises that always look forward and are prepared to embrace new technologies adopt changes swiftly because their procedures mature over the years. Therefore, enterprises should devote resources and intellect to prepare technology shift and adoption procedures as soon as possible.

Stick to the Chosen Decision
The most important aspect of technology adoption is a clear goal from enterprise management regarding the adoption. Once a new technology has been commissioned, it should not be hastily abandoned. However, this is only possible if the technology has been thoroughly evaluated and its implementation has been deliberately planned.

Nothing is constant in the world except change. The business world is no exception. Many business changes result from new IT innovations. Normally, those who resist new technologies or changes lag behind. On the other hand, technology adoption without proper evaluation and analysis can easily lead to negative repercussions for enterprise productivity.
About the Author
Abdul B. Subhani is the founder and President/CEO of Centex Technologies, an IT consulting company with offices in Central Texas, Dallas, and Atlanta. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Texas A&M University - Central Texas computer information systems department. Abdul is a Certified Ethical Hacker, a Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control, a Texas Licensed Private Investigator, member of FBI Infragard and the recipient of multiple other advanced IT credentials. Abdul has been a frequent keynote speaker, moderator, and panelist at leading international technology conferences, and he has given speeches to thousands of students at colleges and universities.