The Opportunities and Risks of IT Modernization
As Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Without continual growth and progress, words like improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Modernization in technology promotes efficiency, enables global communication, and supports continuous progression. Many of us couldn’t exist without email, google maps and Siri. While humanity has greatly benefited from these innovations in technology, there are some negative effects as well. These effects beg the question: Is IT modernization more beneficial or detrimental? Let’s address both sides.
Moving Forward: Creating A Diverse Culture
It’s clear that technological advancements promote continued growth and progress. With the cyclical flow of innovation, one advancement leads to another improved process, product, or service. We've become so accustomed to this continuous progression, that now we expect it, forcing the technology industry to continue to deliver. For instance, no one was surprised to hear about the self-driving truck. A LIDAR system used to amass detailed information about the car’s surroundings should have been jaw-dropping, but it was predictable to most and had us wondering when our own cars would drive themselves. The same is seen in the business world with enterprises adopting cloud services. As a result, they are seeking more secure, reliable, and dedicated access to it. Cloud connectivity is now a growing need, as companies look to effectively connect and integrate their cloud services with their IT infrastructure. It boosts productivity to outpace competitors, reduces the risk of attacks, exceeds compliance mandates, and ensures availability with multiple access points. The benefits are endless, so of course, many organizations are employing these advanced capabilities.
As we progress, we open ourselves up to further innovation and improvement, but unfortunately with the never-ending innovation cycle, home cultures can fall by the wayside, which can be detrimental to businesses. As we visit different places, we tend to use our native languages less often and adopt the foreign cultures we’re exposed to. Decades of research by organizational scientists, psychologists, sociologists, economists, and demographers show that socially diverse groups are more innovative than homogeneous groups. Therefore, diversity is a key component to success when it comes to product and service development, interacting with unique professionals, and solving challenging problems. So how do you build this diverse workforce? You identify new talent pools, create ways for like-minded people to connect and make diversity a part of your brand. Intel’s recent initiative includes a $300 million allotment for building a pipeline of female and under-represented engineers and computer scientists. There’s a reason that CEOs in top companies are prioritizing diversity. Embrace the different in order to be innovative.
Simplifying Life without Diminishing Productivity
It’s clear that technology simplifies our everyday lives. It improves the speed at which we complete tasks and helps ensure accuracy in every action. As a result, we finish projects faster, they require less manpower, and costs are reduced. This is especially beneficial to businesses, as a low margin of error contributes to a financially stable company that’s well equipped to last. Most notably, technology advancements have optimized network performance, enabling unified communications, flexibility, and reinvention. With these connected networks, employees can securely communicate, exchange information, and adapt to dynamic environments. As an example, 100 percent cloud-based unified communications solutions like OfficeSuite UC work with any network/internet services provider and include a complete suite of voice and collaboration features that can be tailored to any organization. The simplicity that these robust, high-speed, high-bandwidth technologies offer has freed IT departments up to focus on their areas of expertise and given them peace of mind knowing their data is completely secure.
Technology does simplify life, but it could be inferred that it makes us less productive as well. When we can easily complete most day-to-day tasks, we become accustomed to this standard and struggle with presented challenges. Fortunately, there are avenues to overcome this risk. In order to move over to a more automated system, motivation is needed and certain steps must be followed, including: analyzing the target system and identifying the resources to be migrated, cleansing the source code, preparing the open system, and migrating the resources. Once integrated, management is still necessary, which keeps employees hard at work, but offers many benefits. For example, networking services pave the way to further collaboration- access to instant messaging, new office applications, and information resources have improved the standard of work. Individuals are presented with tools for success and are expected to utilize these assets. The use of a globally connected network puts all collaboration-driven applications within reach. Most notably, with document sharing users can simultaneously edit the same document, leave comments for one another and track changes. Never before has there been such a push towards collaboration. As long as leaders hold their employees to high standards, they should maintain and potentially increase productivity.
More Ways to Communicate Leads to Globalizing Business
There is no question that technology has enabled instantaneous communication. Because of advanced telecommunication technology, people around the world can “visit” the globe, revolutionizing personal lives, increasing tourism, and promoting trade. In particular, unified communications solutions have integrated voice and network communications into a single platform, accessible from any device, anywhere. This technology supports advanced applications, streamlines processes, reduces cost, and improves productivity. With advanced HD video, audio and web conferencing solutions, large groups of people can now meet, share and connect from opposite sides of world without needing to pay high international charges or expensive travel fees. Modernization has certainly resulted in instantaneous, global collaboration around the world, leading to revolutionary opportunities and economic benefits. We can now utilize the best skills of individuals from all around the world to present innovative solutions to problems.
While technology has contributed to a connected global community, there are risks for domestic businesses when it comes to retaining workers. Jobs can move to other countries where work is less costly, leaving U.S. workers with little leverage. In order to avoid such risks, organizations should remain aware of the potential job transfer and focus on adding irreplaceable depth and skill to their teams. It’s understood that regularly adding employees can be a challenge, so as an alternative, organizations can add experts to plan or execute initiatives in a virtual manner. With many IT organizations being pulled into different directions, an outside team of professional service experts can be the ideal solution for applying specialized skills, addressing tough challenges, and managing solutions to grow an organization. 24/7 monitoring and protection, customizable firewalls, anti-virus protection, and web content filtering are just a few of the benefits that come along with utilizing an outside service. These experienced professionals often bring an outside perspective and cutting-edge approach- a skill set that the existing team could be lacking.
IT modernization is beneficial to any organization, but it comes with challenges, opportunities, and risks to manage. Advancements result in change, and significant changes can cause conflict. Technological advancements are necessary and benefit the greater good in terms of health, business, and education. However, organizations must constantly work to manage individual motivation, maintain domestic relationships, and embrace local culture in order to thrive in our progressive world.