Working in or with an IT team can bring with it many challenges, most of which are rooted in the ever-changing nature of technology. It can be especially stressful when it seems like every quarter a new technology is being introduced into your routine. This article is designed to give a little insight into the motivations behind the implementation of new technology and the associated advantages. In addition, you should learn a little more about the possible challenges of these implementations and how to deal with them.
Why Do Organizations Implement New Technology?
Before you can jump headlong into the world of new tech, you need to be able to understand the motivations behind it. Ultimately, new technology should be designed to positively disrupt its current field. A very recent and prevalent example is the disruption of the transportation industry by Lyft and Uber. By introducing a fully digital, fully mobile process of requesting rides, these companies have completely reinvented the way we use transportation. A handful of years ago, users were reluctant to jump on this bandwagon. Now, the streamlined process of ride sharing is used by millions.
Again, when companies implement new tech, the main goal is innovation. How that innovation manifests depends on the organizations overall goals. Some new tech may present innovation in the way of price, while other innovations may assist in user friendliness or a boost in productivity. It’s always best to look into why your company is aiming to implement a new technology to better understand how it will ultimately help to serve you and your team.
Some Important Things to Remember Before Implementing New Technology
The most important thing to learn from the ride sharing trend is that technology, no matter how new, will only succeed if it truly makes the lives of its users easier. A slightly more extreme, and hopefully incredibly unique, example of the implementation of new tech is the Galaxy Note 7. In an attempt to make a more efficient battery, Samsung somehow made a very literal ticking time bomb. The phones became explosive, and because of this, the tech will be completely scrapped. Of course, this is a very extreme example, but the lesson still stands. If the new technology that’s being introduced doesn’t make life more convenient, then it will certainly not succeed.
On the other side of the spectrum is the implementation of the new Archivum technology at USF. This program was implemented by the University to better serve its students, patients, and faculty. It works to streamline processes that for years were done through a more paper intensive process. Now, those procedures are completely digital. This is a great example of how technological innovations can improve business operations and life. So while it can sometimes be frustrating to break routine or to learn a new process, if that new process will make your job or schooling easier in the end, isn’t it worth a try?
The most important things to keep in mind when it comes to implementing new technologies:
- Will it improve the lives of users?
- Will it positively disrupt the field?
- Can it be easily and effectively used by customer teams?
The Challenges of Implementing New Technology and How to Address Them
It would be incredibly unrealistic to think that implementing new tech, even if it positively innovates, comes without any disadvantages. The trick is making sure that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
Some of the disadvantages might include an initial decrease in productivity or push back from users. It’s vital to understand the possible frustrations of those who will be impacted by the implementation. Without this empathy, there will be no way to effectively address those frustrations. Whether you are trying to convince your employer to implement new tech, or you are the employer who is championing the implementation, it will be beneficial to talk with people who will be affected by the change. It’s also necessary to understand that no one technology can solve every problem.
Here are some tips on how to address disadvantages and how to approach push back:
- Be as transparent as possible when it comes to researching new technologies. Hiding the possible implementation will only serve to frustrate users further.
- Get your own tech endorsers. Have people at each level of implementation there to talk positively about the new tech.
- Host quality training sessions. If everyone is well versed in how to use the technology there will likely be less push back against the implementation.
- Be patient. Whether you have already implemented the technology or you’re affected by another’s implementation, try to be as patient as possible. This includes patience with the tech, as well as with the people involved in the project. Nothing, including innovation, happens overnight.
The Benefits of New Tech That Go Beyond the Goals of the Organization
As an employee, it can sometimes be frustrating to hear how the actions of the company will benefit the organization as a whole while you as an individual aren’t feeling those advantages right away. But this doesn’t mean that those decisions won’t positively impact you in the end.
Many new implementations of technology can improve the efficiency of departments. Take for example, Human Resources. In regards to USF's introduction of Archivum, many employees have already benefited fully from the streamlining of H.R. processes. When those who serve and work alongside you are able to move faster, you are eventually going to feel the advantages and find them to be worthwhile.
Furthermore, after some training with the new tech, you should be able to increase your productivity and increase your skills at the same time. Ultimately this helps the organization and the individual. You might see the benefits from increased productivity in promotions, or raises, or just simply in a less stressful environment.
The advantages of new tech obviously depends on the organizations specific mission, but one very popular goal surrounding workplace technology is improved communication. This could include communication with peers, higher ups, and even customers. Either way, it’s likely that improved communication will make your job easier and less stressful.
The bottom line is that good technology should benefit everyone who has to interact with it. And if your organization is following best practices by investigating tech, transparently explaining the benefits to their teams, and getting everyone up to speed with timely training, then there's nothing to fear and only progress to be gained.