Too Many Companies Are Reluctant to Adopt New Tech, But Why?
May 18, 2019 18:05
Technology has the power to help businesses grow in many ways. It can open the door to the development of new products or the pursuit of new opportunities. It can reduce costs by automating some activities and simplifying others. It can also improve factors like safety and convenience for customers and employees alike.
Yet despite the fact that some technologies are both higher-quality and cheaper than their old-school alternatives, many companies are reluctant to make the transition. So why are so many modern companies afraid to change systems or upgrade their current equipment?
Reluctance to Change
These are some of the biggest factors holding companies back from tapping the full power of modern technology:
●Multiple existing systems. Some companies are already using multiple separate tech tools to organize their data and streamline their processes. Finding a single platform that can do all these tasks at once, or finding one with enough compatibilities to allow the other systems to keep running, can be challenging. For example, 53 percent of companies state they’re reluctant to upgrade their supply chain management systems because they’re forced to integrate data from multiple sources at once.
●“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Other companies have the mentality that technology doesn’t need to be upgraded unless there’s something inherently wrong with their existing systems. The problem with this approach is that it neglects the possibility of iterative improvement; for example, if your current system yields a 15 percent productivity improvement to otherwise manual tasks, it could be considered working, but it prevents you from upgrading to a system capable of a 30 percent bottom-line improvement.
●Upgrade costs. Upgrading your equipment can be expensive, especially if you’re switching to some of the latest technological breakthroughs. However, this is usually a flat, up-front cost, which you’ll recoup over time. For example, you might pay $10,000 initially and $1,000 a month for some new IT equipment, but if it leads to a return of $2,000, it will end up paying for itself in less than a year.
●Lack of expert oversight. Integrating new tech can be problematic if you don’t have someone to oversee its integration. An IT expert is invaluable in ensuring the new system works properly, and getting all your team members fully trained on how to use it. The best solution is to treat your IT experts as another cost to using the best technology.
●Timing issues. Some companies are reluctant to upgrade while pursuing another goal; for example, they don’t want to experiment with a full system upgrade while they’re about to launch a brand-new product. Unfortunately, this becomes chronic; there’s no “perfect” time to upgrade your tech, even if it’s a basic software or OS update, so it becomes infinitely procrastinated.
●Pure ignorance. Of course, some business owners simply aren’t aware that new tech exists, or aren’t aware of the benefits it provides. Unfortunately, it takes proactive effort to discover the new possibilities offered by new apps, devices, and systems, and if business owners aren’t willing to make that effort, the end result is tech stagnation.
It may seem like neglecting the adoption of new technology is a minor inconvenience at best, but there are some major consequences to being constantly behind the curve:
●Competition woes. The tech world is highly competitive, and it has the potential to make other industries more competitive as well. If your corporate competitors are just one or two steps ahead of you in terms of technology, it could be enough of a differentiating factor to poach some of your best customers.
●Higher long-term costs. While the short-term costs of upgrading to a new tech system are high, the long-term costs of being stuck with older technology are far worse. Not only will you see lower productivity and possibly lower morale, but you’ll also have weaker security, which could lead to a ridiculously expensive data breach.
●Increased difficulty. The longer you wait to make tech upgrades, the harder it will be to switch to the latest systems on the market. This is especially true for training your existing employees on new tech.
Working within a company that’s afraid to upgrade its technology can be difficult; you’ll be forced to deal with some of these consequences in your personal role, but may not have direct control in how these new technologies are adopted (if they’re ever adopted). The best way forward is to figure out the root cause of the decision maker’s reluctance and find as much objective evidence as possible to refute it as an excuse. Since so many new technologies are objectively better than their obsolete counterparts, this evidence won’t be hard to find.
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