Lack of time, lack of knowledge and too many preconceptions can hold back your business, especially when it comes to its technological evolution. Where does this problem come from? How can you solve it? Start by seeking out the facts.
These days, it’s getting harder to rely on newspapers, social networks, radio and television to understand political or economic issues. The saying “Stick to the facts” is increasingly maligned. Which version of the facts would you like?
So many play the game of using half-truths or even outright lies to convince their audience of the relevance and accuracy of their ideology. In this era of being bombarded from all sides with contradictory information and fake news, I would even say this has become a major societal challenge.
Clearly, ordinary mortals must be ever more discerning and do their best to rely on facts and not some third party’s interpretation of them
It’s the Same in IT
It’s pretty much the same in our industry, too. In the ever-fast-moving realm of IT, one must be careful not to be influenced by information that is often incomplete or erroneous.
It’s sad when corporate executives make decisions (sometimes very expensive ones), without taking the proper time to mull them over. Sadder still when they rely on hearsay from specialists, who are often in good faith but who can push for less efficient solutions and even invoke false pretences to discredit proven innovations, simply out of dogmatism or ignorance.
No technological solution is perfect, I agree, but be we should be wary of the apostles of the status quo. Where would we be today if accountants had resisted computerization and stuck to the reliable, tried and tested abacus? I’m exaggerating of course, but you’ll agree that it’s amazing to see technology experts unabashedly determining the inability of a new tool to solve business problems without even bench-testing it. Or, at the very least, made some calls to known references to assess the tool’s potential.
So, if it’s technology’s nature to be constantly evolving, what drives these ‘experts’ to spread false information and hold things back?
Lack of Time
Huge demand for digitization or modernization of business systems puts relentless pressure on IT and development teams. These end up crumbling under the weight of their work. Lack of time leads to tough choices. For example, foregoing research into productivity tools and missing out on time and money-saving benefits these could bring to the organization. The initial investment in time and careful research is perceived as too taxing. Yet, this prevents them from better equipping themselves (and their company) for the future.
Lack of Knowledge
Due to natural insecurity, some people don’t want to question decisions that often date back several years. Lack of continuing education and deficient natural curiosity mean that they’ll always be reluctant to change, for lack of knowledge.
Making technological changes in an organization is fraught with danger and many administrations fall victim to the phrase ‘If it works, don’t fix it’. This way of managing can lead to a significant technological delay and make a company uncompetitive. You’ve got to know how to mitigate the risk and proceed in stages to minimize it, because a well-calculated risk can bring very large benefits.
The False Impression
‘If it’s simple, it’s not good’ is another expression often heard in our wonderful techno setting. This kind of logic automatically discredits all ‘RAD’ or ‘Low code’ type solutions. In complete contradiction to this, we’re daily noting a strong adoption of these technologies by the business community to solve critical operational issues.
In short, lack of information coupled with persistent biases deprives companies of innovative, affordable and proven solutions.
Time to Thwart Immobilism
With a little time, curiosity and energy, it’s possible to thwart this immobilism. It is possible to overcome false judgments, lack of knowledge and bad recommendations. Here’s how.
Go to the Source
Ask the supplier about the tool. Check out the website, the case studies, the white papers and the ‘statement of direction’. Make sure the company is serious and lists its customers. Ensure the long-term viability of the solution and its costs.
Blogs are teeming with relevant information, but it’s also important to ensure the author’s credibility with the target community. A large sample of content helps better filter the relevance of the information.
A webinar that speaks directly to your issues and answers your questions can be very useful. Don’t hesitate to contact the presenter to deepen the topic and make sure you understand how your issues will be addressed.
Attend User Conferences
User conferences with multiple information sessions are extremely useful. Although they can be costly to attend, they allow you to speak directly to the vendor, developers, and service providers. They are the best places to find multiple answers in a very short time.
Talk to Customers, Peers
Nothing beats the experience of a company that has just completed a successful IT selection process and implementation. Request references from the supplier so that you can ask all your questions in a neutral manner. Nothing is perfect, but to know in advance certain pitfalls decreases the level of stress.
Ask for a Proof of Concept
Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to do everything at once. A proof of concept on a small application enables you to put the infrastructure in place and test the new technology in its organizational context. A small-scale success bodes well for the future and it’s extremely reassuring.
It is very difficult to master a new tool as soon as it’s first used. Don’t hesitate to take advice from companies that can give you training and ongoing support. Building on a solid foundation makes for the long-term viability of the solution. Conversely, a lack of experience can be disastrous and lead to the abandonment of the solution by thinking that it does not meet the needs. Good coaching can save a lot of time, money and frustration and thus ensure the success of the project.
Get to the Facts
It is clear that whatever the choice of your next technological tool, you will have to be wary of hasty conclusions and minimal research. Be open to investing a minimum of time and money in order to position yourself favourably for your next challenges. Innovate, because the survival of your business depends on it.
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