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Technology is a Team Sport

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Technology is not slowing down. AWS released 1470 new features last year – that is a lot of change for one platform! And the rate of change isn’t slowing down, 2018 promises to be an even bigger year. These changes impact the business landscape drastically, customers wants and needs change without them realising. They expect better, even when satisfied, it’s the beauty of customer service.

Embracing these rapid changes is part of the modern business landscape that we now live in. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IoT, and Big data are the big buzzwords at the moment. But we’d like to focus on optimising existing workflows, building new capabilities and talk about how to prepare your teams, and organisation to adopt technology changes faster.

Equipping your team to embrace the changes and opportunities that technology is creating for your industry is a key factor in their satisfaction, as well as your businesses success. It’s a win-win. Teams that when things get shaken up have a very different culture to those that dig their heels in. They feel supported and know that if they fail, they won’t be thrown under the bus. Culture for change. It can be tricky, but when it’s right the innovation flows. That innovation is where competitive advantages develop. Along with being a leader who fosters a ‘change culture’ there are a few other ingredients to navigating your way through digital disruption.

Get the PLATFORM right

Innovation is being fueled by the booming cloud technologies industry. Amazon Web Services allows the ability to store and use vast quantities of data to play and innovate with.
Evolving with the evolution begins with embracing it and ensuring your team has the right tools. You need a solid foundation that will not only help you adapt to the current technology changes, but also adapt to a constantly changing future.

Be adaptable – those who approach their work with a “What if” mindset are those who create the best solutions. The best way to handle an evolving world is with a platform that embodies just that; one built around evolution, that’s flexible and agile.

This is where the cloud comes in.

We’ve talked about this before in our blog “Don’t just touch the cloud, dive in” where we talk about the gateway it provides for opportunities to innovate.

The cloud is a crucial aspect of any evolving business strategy and the importance of using it to its full potential cannot be overemphasised.

All the technologies that are hot buzzwords rely on cloud infrastructure: chatbots, AI, data-lakes, machine learning, and IoT to name a few.

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that change is occurring at ten times the pace of the Industrial Revolution and 300 times the scale, with roughly 3,000 times the impact.

Make sure your PEOPLE are onboard

Working fully in tandem with the right platform is making sure your people are fully onboard; meaning they understand the need to embrace change and have the tools and training to do so.

Some say this is the first step however, technology and people are jointly important as one working well without the other simply won’t be effective. Creating a culture for change, and thus one of innovation is so important.

As Daniel Newman in Forbes wrote:

“Technology may be the driving force behind the shifting face of the industry, but it’s how your employees respond that will make—or break—the future of your business.”

It can be tricky convincing people about the need to change as a large proportion of people like routine and as a consequence don’t warm to any alternative ways of doing things. Supportive leadership is an excellent start.

Here are four ways to help make sure your people are on board and stay on board:

  • Keep technology change at the top of your organisation’s agenda. Thankfully, New Zealand organisations are relatively small, so the degrees of separation between different levels of team members are less, meaning conversations and relationships are easier and in many cases, can be face-to-face or personal.
  • Talk about it constantly, listen and discuss, as the insights you will hear will always be valuable. People typically resist change, but now embracing it is a necessity in order to drive innovation. Listen to them – if there’s a better way of doing something, your employees will know about it.
  • Make sure you talk about the big picture, so people understand your vision for the future. If it’s clear they are more likely to be supportive.
  • Change should be part of culture along with learning and growing so these all become part of the “way we do things around here.” Measure, analyse, re-tune and celebrate often. A change culture needs to be overt.

Have a PLAN and be resilient

The best way to go about this is as follows:

  1. Understand where you are and where you want to be
  2. Assess then decide on a technology platform, where cloud plays a central role
  3. Commit to a timeframe
  4. Measure constantly and fine-tune
  5. Understand that change is hard work, but very rewarding.
  6. CELEBRATE your success and your team!

In a Newsroom interview, technological forecaster Roger Dennis says: “New Zealand companies need to look at how they can build resilience, they also need to look at what’s going on at a global level and not think just because we are far away from it some of the issues don’t affect us”.

We may be connected virtually to the world, but we still need to be very aware of keeping up as change accelerates. We can’t be complacent, we have to continue to find ways to grow and to make sure our organisations adapt accordingly.

Adopt the technology that’s right for your business and stick with it for your agreed time frame, measuring, assessing and talking constantly along the way. Avoid the Magpie approach.

Try walking when everyone says run

When everything around you seems to be running at a million miles an hour, sometimes the best approach is to stop and breathe awhile and get back to fundamentals.

Central to this common sense approach is giving your business a foundation in the form of a platform that will enable your organisation to be innovative, grow and adapt, be engaging for your people, and provide the right support so your business can be confident and resilient. This may sound counter-intuitive considering the pace we are experiencing but walking steadily first will help you to run later.

 

On August 30th, Dynamo6 will host our third annual AWS event with speakers who have been there (or are on the journey), done that, and got the business results to prove it. They will tell it how it is and (hopefully) inspire you and your team to embrace change. We hope to see you there! Find out more >