Emerging from one era, into another…

Even as we begin to hear about the easing up of the recessionary phase, it is not difficult to see that things are not going to be the same as they were before.

And one of the biggest impacts this recession is likely to have is not in our pockets, but in our minds.

Whether it is you or your organization, the biggest effect may well be the shift in thinking that this recession has brought about. And it does appear to be here for several years to come, for some of the views that you or those that your organization has had – of business priorities, budgets and spending, efficiencies, competitiveness and performance – have all perhaps changed for good.

And in all this, although among the first things you hear often is about cutbacks on IT spend, Technology is, inevitably, going to play that important role of an enabler more than ever before.

But the choice of technology will be different from the way it has traditionally been. From the options that will be available, I think to a large extent, those that are adopted in the coming few years will have to score relatively higher against available options one or more of the following –

  • Does it Improve and enhance collaboration and performance of employees, machines and other resources?
  • Will it help maximize past investments – in technology, infrastructure or other assets? – Does it go beyond addressing a localized need, to a need that is definable at a more organization level.
  • Does it enable reuse and optimize usage, rather than merely saving costs?
  • Does it hold the promise of sun-setting past investments in technology that run up high costs for changes, upkeep and maintenance?
  • Will it help reduce cost to benefit ratio?
  • Does it represent a significant opportunity cost?
  • Does it help improve customer experience, satisfaction, customer loyalty and competitiveness?

.

Can you think of other imperatives that will steer the choice of technology over the next few years?

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4 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. 1

    Interesting question.. Here are my 2 cents..

    First of all: this recession does not differ too much from others. We go in, we go through and we come out.. Unfortunately not without harm being done to people..some more than others.

    During and for some time after the recession you will see caution in behavior of companies. First because they are not sure it is a structural improvement and after that because they remember the pain. Then the market starts heating up, and nobody wants to miss the boat.. At that point in time hasty decisions are easily made and risks are often not assessed well enough. This will last until the first few discover that their progressive plans will not be realized and then the “fun” starts all over again. Simplistic view maybe, but at least this is what I saw happening in the last few.

    But, after each crisis we have been able to pick up and at each high there has been created more wealth compared to the previous high. New markets, new technologies, new products & services, that enable Customers to improve their lives, and new ways of combining this all (you can call this management or strategies) have emerged. Even during this crisis this process of continuous improvement has not stopped. It is in our human nature or genes if you want. And this is exactly what we will continue to do, but at a higher pace when the crisis is over. Right until the moment that more than a few companies find out that their projections of growth do not fit with reality..

    What you wrote above is all true, but it is not unique to this crisis. It is common sense. What matters is: how long can we maintain our common sense and hold the horses from jumping of the next cliff..

    Considering all this I do not expect there to be highly different approaches towards technology investments after this crisis compared to the ending of the last crisis.

    Dissapointed? Do not agree? Let me know and we can discuss.
    .-= Wim Rampen´s last blog ..What A Social CRM Strategy is all about.. =-.

    [Reply]

  2. 2

    These are cycles that repeat periodically, agree. And each time, it is bound to feel like the sky is going to fall on our heads. Sure, we can detect common patterns of behaviour during and after all these cycles, but this particular cycle has been deeper, wider and longer and it had what I like to call a remarkably high BPQ [Blood Pressure quotient].

    One other fallout of these cycles I think is that it gives us a reality check that makes us wiser and more cautious. And like you put it so well, that sense of caution will soon wear off. Though for this particular cycle, I believe it will take a much longer time for that to happen.

    I dont quite agree with your point that it will not influence our approach towards technology investments. This cycle will have a strong impact in the near to medium term for sure, but I believe each cycle makes us wiser in some way and no matter when it wears off, there is definitely a certain residual learning that is sure to become internalized much beyond the cycle’s effects.

    Another interesting thing about this particular cycle is that technology developments like Cloud computing, Social Media etc have also piqued the interest of the technology consuming market and since it coincided with the recession offering low cost alternatives, orgs are looking with more interest at these and I believe they will become part of the mainstream IT investments for the near term future.

    To summarise I think the whole thing serves as a periodic reality check, that gives us a need to introspect our excesses and bloat and make a correction of sorts.

    [Reply]

    Wim Rampen Reply:

    No lies or ferry-tales in you response, that’s for sure 😉

    I don’t know how long this cycle will be. Some already see the light (if that’s true it was actually not so long compared to the 30ties, 70ties or 80ties), some expect it to last for years to come. With almost nobody able to predict going into the recession over a year ahead, I don’t place any bets on when we’re going out and how long the “caution” will last..

    With regard to your expectations on cloud-computing and Social Media. All these developments we’re happening before we knew about this crisis. It takes a while (and good example cases) before good things are adopted. If they were these great money savers (or growth engines), they would have been picked up by now and broadly implemented or in the process of implementation. This is not the case. Lack of tangible results on both sides of the coin play a major role here. I think it will take another 5 to 10 years before wide-spread adoption of Social Media and Social CRM (in the cloud or not) will be there.

    Thx for responding!
    .-= Wim Rampen´s last blog ..What A Social CRM Strategy is all about.. =-.

    [Reply]

  3. 3

    You are right. You will remember the earlier avtar of the SaaS called ASP. I had the opportunity of looking at the ASP wave from close quarters by being part of the team that strategised and developed ASP solutions – ERP and CRM; server farms and the whole gig – and making very forward thinking statements ( 🙂 ) – but I for one, believed in its proposition and to be fair, we did manage to get many organizations excited. But that was a wave that sadly didnt take off at all!

    In hind-sight, I think one of the main reasons that happened – apart from security concerns and so on, was because organizations did not have that compulsion to move to a cost beneficial hosted software model, and perhaps that was a technology model that was either ahead of time or launched in the wrong business context.

    About Social Media – Will it take that long? I didn’t suspect that much! This is a learning for me! I guess you say that because of lack of tangible results among other things.Thanks for that reality check! I was kinda upbeat on SM! You have given me some hard medicine to bring me down to reality for sure!! TY again!

    [Reply]

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