New technologies: Here's what you should consider when introducing

SNP Experts
| 4 min read

The current crisis emphasizes the urgency of further digitization: Many decision-makers must now identify digital solutions in order to ensure that their own company remains viable for the future. New technologies play an important role in this matter: Yet, which innovation makes sense for your own company and what must be considered in order to fully exploit the potential? We provide tips for a thorough analysis, selection and introduction process.

 

In the face of the current pandemic, decision-makers are confronted with enormous challenges: Whilst during the crisis mode, it is mainly a matter of solving the most urgent problems, digital progress should always be taken into account. The past months have shown: The more digital companies are positioned, the more flexibly they can react to massive market changes. Therefore, management should now more than ever consider the opportunities offered by new technologies.

 

Analysis: Where is the company headed?

In transformation projects such as the introduction of new technologies, objectives play a prominent role. However, innovations only make sense if they can be usefully integrated into the company's everyday business. Therefore, decision makers should firstly determine the status quo: How is the company doing today? How future-proof is the business model, also in view of the competition and changes within the industry? And what are the precise challenges? Based on the status quo, it is necessary to define the desired goals and benchmarks for the future. Management needs a clear idea of what is to be achieved. Only then it is in a position to develop solutions together with internal or external experts and to select a suitable technology to close the gap between the actual and desired situation.

 

Selection: Which technology is the right one?

When choosing a technology, one should always focus on the objective. The added value for the company must be obvious: Logistics companies that want to predict disruptive factors in their supply chain more quickly and accurately and work more transparently with other supply chain players could take advantage of the benefits of Big Data, for example. On the other hand, retailers who want to provide their customers with a personalized shopping experience and analyze purchasing behavior in order to align business and marketing strategies may consider using artificial intelligence. And those who are looking at predictive maintenance in production to reduce costs and increase productivity may consider the use of an Internet of Things (IoT) solution.

Last but not least, prior to implementation, it must be critically examined whether a technology is already being used on a broad scale. Not all tech trends have reached a sufficient technical level. One example is the use of blockchain technology for optimizing data processing, which is often still in a test or pilot phase.

 

Technical status: What preparatory work is required?

During the following step it should be checked whether the company has already created the basis for the optimal use of the new technology. The step into the cloud plays a highly relevant role in this context, for example: By outsourcing its own applications and IT services to the Internet, a permanent and location-independent data traffic between people, machines and vehicles becomes possible. And that, for example, facilitates the professional collection, storage and analysis of large amounts of data (Big Data).

If IT landscapes do not yet correspond to the required state of the art, it must be examined which preparatory work is necessary. This ensures that the transformation project can be implemented within the desired timeframe. In addition, project managers maintain an overview of the overall costs as well as the technical and time expenditure.

 

Introducing the new technology: Focus on the employees

The adaptation of a new technology does not only entail technical effects – it is also a social process. In order to get employees on board and convince them of the necessary changes, decision-makers should increasingly engage in an exchange. Advantages for users must be clearly emphasized and new know-how must be made available for the handling of the new technology.

The management is well advised to build up a network of allies at an early stage that will have an impact on all areas of the company. Often there is a discrepancy between the technical possibilities and the abilities of the employees to use the resulting potential effectively. Digital advocates can help to explain the added value and how it works as well as reduce potential scepticism. Ideally, employees explore digital innovation "in protected spaces": After all, the more actively the entire workforce is involved in the introduction, the more adept they will be at dealing with the technology and related future issues later on.

 

Current crisis calls for rapid action

Decision-makers should see digital technologies as an important tool for achieving corporate goals and should stay informed about new developments as quickly as possible – and faster than the competition. It is always important to examine new developments with regard to the benefits for one's own company or the industry. However, the management is not left to its own devices: Specialized service providers help to develop an idea of what business processes could look like with digital solutions.

 

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