Are we caught between a ‘rock and a hard place’ with technology today?
Technology has brought about significant business, individual growth and prosperity for sure. It has seen business productivity and output almost seamlessly increase. It has enhanced communications and networks and generated solutions for better business security. Email, instant messages, and other communications, see people and the world informed and connected with ease and speed.
Technology, has increased efficiency in operations, it can reduce costs and enable rapid business growth. Technology also solves a range of complexities in the organisation’s systems and processes. Business owners and executives frequently look at new technologies to assist in doing things more effectively.
Technology ensures businesses accurately track records. These range from banking and financial transactions to medical records and of course much more. In healthcare it helps to save lives, providing the opportunity for quicker and more accurate patient diagnosis, and use of electronic medical records that follow patients. However, some challenges with technology in the medical sector are seen as an over reliance on systems and less personal patient health professional interaction. A number of data breaches have also taken place.
When bringing technology into the business, it is important to take into consideration the timing of its incorporation. For example, in the short run, it is advisable to introduce systems that will boost and support business operations but which will not overpower its users or the business capacity to effectively utilise and maintain the technology.
At times and particularly with young start-up companies there is a rush to take on board significant technology solutions, and when this happens, they are often more exposed to risk of failure due to the complexity of the solutions prematurely adopted.
For all businesses, whether young or established, with our day to day interactions over the World Wide Web (www), internet and networks systems, and full reliance on technology, we have also become increasingly exposed to those with criminal intent. Cyber criminals have access to large caches of sensitive information, and each year we see more and more cyber attacks, hacks and data breaches across the globe. Cybersecurity has thus become an essential part of technology to protect organisations and individuals. It is key in keeping data and information, money and people safe from the threats that cyber criminals pose. It is essential to take the right measures to maintain the security of the company and its assets.
All in all, technology should be viewed as a tool or solution for attaining corporate and individual goals, but not the solution in itself. Even in an economy which is becoming more digital, technology alone is not the panacea; rather, people together with solutions that technology provides, are what will continue to create value. Instead of being the source of value, technology should be an enabler of it.
Based on an argument by Mike Duensing, “Simply buying a new technology solution that provides an out-of-the-box experience most likely will not address the specific requirements of your business workflows,” he said. “You want your employees to feel like they are creating value for those that they serve.”
Leaders should continue to be driven by people-centred solutions, which indeed today are still likely to incorporate the use of technology. Further, leaders should implement technology through a clear understanding of what it can accomplish for the business when it is implemented properly rather than it being an infatuation just for technology.