Using Technology to challenge business models – what’s the tiping point?

New technologies often present an interesting choice around its application to existing and new business models.

Generally most buinesses I talk with see technology change as a driver to create more productivity and faster results in thier workforce, or as I define it:

“A more sophisticated/automated way of doing things that spares us the difficulty of a task and speeds up the process most of the time, only to present us with occasional bursts of extreme difficulty.”

The problem is that although the technology change can bring about much higher productivity when you have gotten up the learning curve, but it’s a much steeper learning curve. You can’t progress from simple tasks to hard tasks, if the technology has already captured all the simple tasks.

And hence the paradigm – we can as technologist can quickly introduce a new technology but at what point does it reach the tiping point where it is not only is those that have a great depth of understanding the technology are able to use it very effectively quickly, but that the general user population are able to use and leverage the technology.

It’s these questions that really interest me, as the gap is closing between those who spend a lot of time ‘catching up’ to the curve and those who are able to master and manage the applications quickly – where will we find the productivity advances and how will the applications keep pace with the end users needs, rather then the other way round? 

With this in mind it’s my view that if and application is not user centred and maps to thier individual way of doing things then it is unlikley to be well recieved by those that are able to quickly master it.

If the application is from an ‘old’ world and dictates the process and the ways it must be used, then it will be cast aside by those power users.

Some of the more traditional ECM and Records vendors seem to me to be very challenged by this concept – it will be interesting to see how they react – before it’s too late.

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