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Implementing New Technology
There are funny and horror stories about the trials and tribulations associated with technology transfer and the implementation of new systems and architectures. There are lessons we can learn from those who have paved the way for us and from those who have been burned by fire. Get ready to consider five fundamental considerations for implementing a new technology.
What we learned from Oracle
“The original plan was to migrate the existing IT infrastructure to Oracle within three months. It’s been three years and we believe we’re almost done implementing our Oracle.” Does this sound familiar? if so, you have a lot of good company. Oracle is a powerful engine. It is high-octane, scalable, and has a flexible object-oriented architecture that allows for continuous growth and integration. So what went wrong?
Quite often, in the eager anticipation of installing the latest and greatest engine, other parts of the car were forgotten or ignored. Sure, you have a powerful new engine, but you don’t have a steering wheel. It’s been replaced by a series of dropdowns that point and click to precisely tell the car to turn at a certain angle. Do you want to make a 30 degree turn, a 40 degree turn or a 90 degree turn, right or left? Just select the appropriate item from the drop-down menu and you’ll get the twist you want. Gone is the old-fashioned and imprecise steering wheel that required manual intervention and guidance to incrementally adjust the rotation as you go, and in is a precision rotation device controlled by your mouse. The problem is, no one mentioned that the new steering gear is sold separately and will take another six months to program. No one mentioned that whoever is responsible for driving the car will have to learn a new steering methodology, lose the ability to make manual adjustments on the road, and learn to be more predictable and precise in choosing the right turn. Adjustments can be made along the way to correct the turn, with additional menu items if necessary. Additional time, design and development costs, and employee training are sold separately. You see, Oracles sells that powerful engine, not the steering wheel.
Does this sound funny or familiar? If it sounds familiar, the humor is bittersweet. If that sounds funny, you haven’t experienced it. The steering wheel is just one example. Once the steering gear is programmed and in place, other discoveries begin. This powerful engine comes with a speedometer and tachometer so you can see your performance and engine RPM. Isn’t it exciting to see that you have only partially harnessed the incredible power of this wonderful Oracle engine? Unfortunately, if you’re relying on other dashboard devices like turn signals, air conditioning, or radio, you’ll have to build those things yourself. After all, engine engineers understand that you turn on different roads than everyone else, you have personal preferences for climate control, and you have personal preferences for Sirius terrestrial or satellite radios. Therefore, you need to build objects, menus and switches to suit your personal preferences and any possible variations. Someone forgot to mention that all of these features and amenities must be individually designed for each driver.
When the common dashboard and controls are designed, developed and implemented, the next wave of discoveries begins. Gone are the old buttons, knobs and dials. Everything has been replaced by the convenient control of one device, your mouse. It seemed like a wonderful convenience when it was first described to you. All controls are located with two fingers of one hand. Once you’ve gone through the pain of installing all the other extra controls, it dawns on you that it can be a little difficult to switch between driving, rolling down the windows, turning on the air conditioning, selecting a radio station and signaling your turn all at the same time. devices. All of these things require a different set of menus, so you need to choose your workflow very carefully. Otherwise, you might run into the back of a truck trying to turn off the heater and turn on Howard Stern. At this point it starts to rain and you realize that the wipers are not coded yet.
Dear Larry Ellison, Please forgive me if my sense of irony accidentally introduced what could be perceived as an unflattering comment. It is simply meant to emphasize proper technology transition planning. In the end, you build a beautiful engine.
So what do we do?
1) Be aggressive
It makes sense to be aggressive in implementing new technology that provides a competitive advantage. Competitive advantage can be linked to the overall performance of the system, which enables employees to become more productive. A competitive advantage can be a utility that enables customers and clients to become more self-sufficient, such as installing an ATM outside the bank for customer convenience. A competitive advantage can combine multiple functions, partners, or data streams that enable smarter decisions or efficient business operations. If implementing, integrating, or transitioning to a new technology will have a significant and measurable competitive advantage, then be aggressive in your pursuit of the technology.
2) Be careful
If the technology transfer affects your business’s core competency or bottom line, be cautious about making significant changes. This does not mean that you avoid improving the technology. It just means that it’s wise to be more careful about the implications and supporting applications that can be affected by even a minor code change. There are horror stories from companies that have made seemingly innocuous billing changes and then failed to produce invoices or statements for customers. During this period of technology transfer, incomes suddenly declined. The result was financial hardship for the billing company and for disgruntled customers who were suddenly saddled with backlogged bills months after the billing system issues were resolved. Not only did this affect cash flow during the billing hiatus, but it also affected customer relationships. Be aggressive about competitive opportunities to increase your bottom line and productivity, but be cautious when it comes to implementing changes that could affect your core business proposition, customers or billing.
3) Be quick
Make small changes quickly and monitor their impact closely. When it comes to improving productivity, don’t put off internal suggestions for streamlining procedures or improving the customer experience. Design small changes, test the changes thoroughly, and create a schedule to consistently implement improvements. Quite often, small improvements have the biggest impact on business performance.
4) Be slow
When it comes to making major changes to the architecture or systems that support your business, take your time to implement changes. Often the core business architecture and functions are the most efficient and optimized. The processes that are most used are those that attract the most attention and are often the most developed. Unfortunately, these are also the processes that are usually chosen as the first priority when it comes to implementing technology transfer. Instead, avoid the temptation to focus on familiar ground and keep the primary processes until the transition has been tested on some of the more complex and less frequently used utilities. By focusing development on the most complex and least used features, vast knowledge can be gained through experience with minimal impact on the business. There are too many horror stories of companies that eagerly migrated core processes and then spent months or years developing bugs that could have been discovered by developing a much less needed or impactful part of the process.
5) Be safe
There is no better time to address a wide range of potential security needs than during the design, development and implementation of new technologies. What personal data do you manage, process, transfer or store? This is not limited to credit card transactions or bank account numbers for wire transfers. Somewhere in your vast data archives, you probably store valuable private information about each of your employees. Employee records contain social security numbers, direct deposit bank accounts, names and addresses, and possibly even a link to health insurance. Quite often we think about the pipeline to our customers and forget about the golden vein of private information in our own premises. Don’t we owe our own employees the same protection?
Privacy data may include medical records, financial records, and personal information. Driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, or even matching email addresses with phone numbers are all potential privacy risks. The threat isn’t limited to how people access information from the outside or the number of firewalls you have in place. The threat is also from within, and what information is available to employees and partners. How easy is it to search customer records and upload information to a flash drive? How easy is it to copy a company’s entire database of customer information, account information, or intellectual property? What would a disgruntled employee do to give valuable customer information to a competitor?
There is no better time than now to have a security expert assess potential privacy breaches in your organization. If you have customers, credit cards, customer accounts, customer information, intellectual property, financial information, health information, or employee information stored electronically, available online, or printed in files, then it’s time to think about security .
If you’re in the midst of preparing for a technology transformation, design, development, integration, or implementation, now is the perfect time to review all related documents with a security and privacy expert. If you’re organizing all of this information, why not leverage your efforts to protect your customers, employees, and business? Executives and management are increasingly responsible for ignoring or overlooking potential security breaches in their organizations, both to protect customers from external threats and to control the actions of disgruntled employees. Mitigate risk to the Company and the Company’s executives by taking appropriate and reasonable due diligence, monitoring and privacy precautions.
Words of wisdom
“Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not control, and those who control what they do not understand.”
– Law of Putt
“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, press three.”
– Alice Kahn
“There’s an evil tendency that underlies all our technology — the tendency to do what’s smart, even if it’s not beneficial.”
– Robert Pirsig
“Humanity is acquiring all the right technologies for all the wrong reasons.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller
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