How realistic are emerging technologies for average IT organizations? How necessary? Most leaders would agree emerging technologies are an extremely important part of an information technology organization. When you consider the rate of advancing technologies, few organizations have the bandwidth, staff, or revenue to evaluate every program and the question is, do they need to?
What Is Emerging Technology
We think of an emerging technology as one that is in development or one that is new or improved on the market. Technology is often custom-designed for varying industries, so a technology that is necessary for one industry may not be so in another. Many companies wait (3-5 years) for developing technology while other companies are inundated with technology concepts as they become available. Most can agree, a needed technology is one that should improve productivity or economic ends. While it is an exciting time of opportunity based on new technology, it also presents some challenges for businesses.
The Challenges in Emerging Technologies
New digital technologies are released so frequently, it is difficult for IT organizations to keep up. A comprehensive process must be put in place in order for companies to understand emerging technologies and determine whether or not they need them. These new programs present copyright, licensing, and trademark challenges. New forms of associated media cause reproduction and copyright issues on a regular basis. The government is involved in order to protect the rights of business owners and technology companies. In fact, many companies have turned to information technology (IT) managed service providers (MSPs) to help sort it out.
Why Emerging Technologies Must Not Be Ignored
Companies in every industry must continually evaluate emerging technologies and their potential applications. It is an important choice in remaining competitive. For example, if a company ignored recent data analysis and collection technology, they may today be at risk of falling behind in accessing significant information that is key to future forecasting and decisions for success. Companies need intelligence for measuring, tracking, and assessing their futures and data is today a number one worldwide asset. In a Transformation Nation article on CIO.com, CIO Manager, Brendan McGowan, states, “Emerging technology represents a series of potential investments—in pure capital, time and energy—that have massive implications for the enterprise.”
Value in Emerging Technologies
If companies today are not engaged with emerging technologies, there are many areas in which they may suffer in the long run. Company leaders are investing in the evaluation process of emerging technologies on a regular basis for a number of benefits:
- Business value in terms of revenue, profitability, and growth
- Mitigate risks that impact the future of the company
- Certainty in driving competitive advantage
- Ensure future talent acquisition
- Prepare for next-generation workers and consumers
- Improve human resources capabilities for sourcing, hiring, and onboarding
- Improve investment decisions for the best outcomes and ROI
Companies must be current and regularly focused on the best way to achieve these benefits. They must be able to answer what is an emerging technology for their industry. It is truly poor management not to get involved in emerging technologies—a decision that could lead to tough competition, reduced profitability, or an eventual closure.
How Best to Plan for Emerging Technologies
Planning for emerging technologies is easier for large-scale companies that can afford trained IT staff to not only keep up with technology but also to evaluate and test software and programs that come on the market. Smaller companies, while they may not have the same significant requirements, may benefit from calling on third-party MSPs and cloud solutions providers to assess their needs and help them stay current. These providers, i.e., RackCo, are today’s companies immersed in new technology and the ability to offer a custom solution to meet particular business needs.
In an era of technological transformation, the human element appears to be suppressed. The fact is, we still need human ideation, communication between peers and leaders, and personal interaction for future innovation. Whether companies invest directly or use third-party providers or partnerships to plan for emerging technologies, they must conform in our digital age.