If you run a business, have a website or just generally spend a great deal of time online, you’ll already be aware of the quickening pace of technology change.
In any business, it’s important to consider not only the technology you’re going to be using today, but also how the technologies of tomorrow will impact you down the road.
This article will you a few quick, easy-to-implement tips that will allow you to not only increase manage future technology challenges, but also to increase the innovativeness with which you do business.
Before we get started however, you may be asking yourself a question.
How are knowledge innovation and technology change related?
Basically, the increasing pace of technology change requires us to be more innovative in how we both adopt and maintain technologies.
Dave Pollard talked about the difficulties that knowledge management teams (and these difficulties extend to many people who deal with technology in general) face as they are confronting the jungle of knowledge and information services in the modern workplace.
These challenges mean that we need to find new ways to adapt technologies to our needs without crippling our future plans. Here are a few tips on how to ensure you don’t do yourself more harm than good when adopting a new technology.
1. Research technologies not only before you adopt them, but also while you’re using them.
Once you’ve adopted a particular technology, it’s easy to get complacent when you become familiar with its features and functionality. It’s also easy to get overconfident in your knowledge and abilities about a particular piece of technology or software.
While it may seem obvious that a web designer would read a great deal of articles about web design, the portrait painted is much less clear when it comes to other technologies.
Perhaps your organization is sending out constant updates by email that could easily be done through RSS? This leads us to the next tip.
2. Don’t get emotionally attached to a particular technology.
Once we’ve been using something for a while, we tend to get comfortable with it. It’s easy to look at a particular product that has a certain limited set of features (as all products do), and try to bend that product around the problem we are trying to solve.
When approaching a particular problem that needs to be solved, be technologically agnostic. Instead of trying to wrap that technology around your problem, approach the problem with several different possible technologies that might work.
3. Continuously research competing technologies to the ones you are using now.
While Product X may have been the best product for the technology challenge you had two years ago, the market for that particular technology may have changed quite dramatically since you last had the problem in question.
Product Y may now do in half the time what Product X does for you now.
4. Don’t build yourself into a corner.
While the standards or technologies you are integrating into a particular other technology may seem rather static today, don’t count on them being around in the next few years.
Technologies have a way of changing in dramatic and unpredictable ways. So instead of planning everything at only the tactical level, have an overall technology strategy that you revisit on a regular basis to see if it’s still working for you (depending on how heavy your technology use is in your business, this could be once every quarter, twice a year or once a year).
And don’t forget, changing with technologies is not only suggested, it’s mandatory. Any of us who are unwilling to change at the pace that new technologies arrive may find ourselves out of a job.
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