It is truly amazing to step back and think where we have come from, and consider the impact that technology has had not only on individual lives, but how technology has changed the way organizations do business today. It was a little more than 25 years ago that the internet started to take shape on how businesses were going to start using it, and today it has not only taken shape it has morphed into how we transact and communicate in business.
So considering how an organization finds value in technology it may at first seem so blatantly obvious based on past results that you might consider the question irrelevant; however, even though we can point to examples where technology has demonstrated value for business, we need to examine a little closer the true nature of how technology brings value to an organization?
First consider, what is technology? Well, to get into specifics we would have to identify all forms of technology, which would be difficult, because there are so many different technologies. So if we ask the question differently, what does technology do? Then we can define technology in more general terms. Businesses rarely focus on the how technology works, but rather, it is the, “Why” should I consider using the technology? How will the technology benefit the organization? So in those terms, we can define technology as an enabler.
Technology is an enabler to a work process, and if technology does not fit the work process then the organization will find very little value, or even may experience significant loss in capital and resources. Too many times an organization that does not consider the work process first, will undoubtedly force a technology into a work process that does not fit, and the result will inevitably be failure. When failure occurs, organizations will typically blame the technology. The thing all organizations must realize that technology is a tool like any other tool, it helps us achieve a result. If you put bad information into technology, then you will get bad information out.
So in determining how an organization will find value in a technology, consider the following:
- Determine if the technology will improve the quality of the business’s product or service. Quality product and service is important to business due to the fact that it provides a higher probability for repeat business.
- Determine if the technology will improve efficiency, or reduce the time to make product or perform a service. Time is one of the standards we use to determine success or failure in business. If a business is early or on time with a product or service it is considered a success, but if a business is late in delivering a product or service it is considered a failure.
- Determine if the technology will improve the business’s bottom line. All businesses are looking to reduce cost by streamlining production and maximizing productivity to remain competitive in business.
- Determine if the technology will reduce the business’s risk as it pertains to personnel’s health and exposure to hazardous conditions. Safety has become an important consideration to businesses, and technology that will mitigate the risk to an employee’s health is a very strong consideration.
These four fundamental principles have to be considered as a whole when an organization determines to implement technology into its work process. It may even require some work processes to be modified, but if a technology can answer all four principles positively then an organization can be confident that they will find value in the technology.
This blog post is by Matthew Craig. Matthew Craig is the Business Development Consultant at Assemble Systems. Matt has over 35 years of experience in the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) sector within the oil and gas and chemical industries. Matt’s primary focus for the past 20 years has been in dimensional technologies (i.e. survey, laser scan, photogrammetry, etc…) that capture as-built conditions of existing facilities.
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