I’ve been in the industry of collaboration for more than a third of my life, scary! Every year brings a new surprise and there have been significant changes in the technology sector, something most tech blogs rattle on about, so I will keep the scene setting relatively brief.
The demand for new shiny buttons, wider range of emojis or flashing lights are ever persistent demands from us consumers, or at least that’s what the industry vendors think. I believe we simply seek the imperfections of a tool that’s been thrust upon us when we don’t know how best to use it or understand the ‘what’s in it for me?’ I remember my first mobile phone in 1998, it had a week long battery and this amazing ‘SMS’ technology, all of which worked as long as you stood in an urban area near a mast with no buildings in the way and moved around with the phone in front of you like a Geiger counter until it got signal. I still scratch my head now at just how mobiles send voice and text ‘through the air’ and yet believe it or not, I actually just scraped into being categorised as a millennial, though the ageing process hasn’t treated me kindly, so some may question that upon my appearance.
With all this technology arriving in continual software updates, the consumer excitement of the next big thing has somewhat dampened down. It’s just the norm. Think about when the iPhone landed in 2007. It was the gadget/business tool everyone wanted, revolutionary! As the many iterations have come down the line the market has slowed because how much more magical can you make the experience without saying the camera is better or the battery lasts longer? Consumers now have an array of collaboration technology to choose from that will delight their every need, even if they never knew they needed it. With many companies having a “bring your own device” policy, the job of procuring technology has changed too.
Despite all this change in tech, the one thing that has remained constant are the three mindsets of customers choosing/procuring technology.
Breaking these mindests down, I want to provoke you to think about how you feel your business procures technology. Could you categorise yourself using the table below, thinking back to your last project?
|Run the business||Grow the business||Transform the business|
|IT Resources||Self-serve/On my own||Rely on a partner||Collaborate with a partner|
|View of Technology||Stick to basics||Willing to invest||Strategic weapon|
|Decision Driver||Simplicity and value||Trusted partner||Platform for growth|
|Satisfied When It…||Just works… Busy keeping the lights on||Boosts productivity… Growing the business||Transforms the business… New go to markets / Differentiating|
Now I’m not saying there is a right mindset to have, as sometimes it can be a mixture of all three, or, dependent on the situation/technology, it’s obvious which one it falls under, for example, if a department head asks for all the team to get a wireless mouse, you’re hardly going to have a strategy meeting over transforming the business here.
I do, however, feel strongly when it comes to companies choosing their collaboration technology and urge businesses to think toward the right of this table. There needs to be a rigorous plan behind the tech.
An all too frequent scenario is mindset number one: ‘Run the business’. The decisions are often driven by budget and\or the thought that the management group would be happy to restrict their employees from diverting away from the tools they’ve been given. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the term “shadow IT”. Well, with mindset one this is where the problems begin. If an employee is restricted from doing their job more efficiently or with more enjoyment and less frustration, then they will naturally seek their own tools and undermine any technologies used within the organisation, along with any security or policies in place (that’s shadow IT, just in case you weren’t familiar).
I am not blaming anyone or indeed claiming I could do a better job in decision making shoes when it comes to running a business, but looking at mindset three ‘Transform the business’, would we all not want to be the superhero who pulls the business together using technology? I would, I’d even wear a cape*!
If your business is currently in a state of flux when it comes to choosing and deploying technology, then get in touch with Adoptt. We will help you achieve your transformational goals. It’s what we do and it’s what we are passionate about.
I’d be interested to hear if you agree with this and if these mindsets help with your decisions.
*capes not included as part of our service.