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Have we become too obsessed about the use of technology in our businesses?

Posted on 20th February 2024 - What's trending?

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By James Pinchbeck, Marketing Partner

Is it time to regain control of our senses about the benefits and use of technology? 

The last 12 months seem to have been unprecedented in terms of the use and introduction of technology and digital innovation.  Who would have thought that OpenAI and ChatGPT only really came to market and wider use in November 2022? With the launch of Google’s AI and other platforms there does seem to be a frenzy of activity as organisations seek to understand what artificial intelligence can do for them or how it might impact their businesses.

This follows several years, which included the pandemic and lockdowns, when we looked at the use of technology and digitisation to manage our organisations. Following Brexit increased focus was also placed on the use of technology to addresses issues around supply chain management and labour shortages.

On a personal basis, all of us no doubt are having to master and get to grips with a growing number of software programmes and platforms aimed at making our lives, or at least the day job, easier. How often though to we find things take longer, don’t work as promised and in fact are more of a hinderance than a benefit?

From a consumer perspective, it seems we are increasingly required to use automated communications, customer portals and management systems, apps, digital receptionists and chat functions. How often though do these leave us with a sense of frustration, disillusionment, and dissatisfaction?

Perhaps the ultimate is when the technology does not work and whilst the problem could be a ‘picnic’ (problem in chair not in computer) there does seem to be an increasing level of system failures. The cost of which can be significant in more ways than just financially, with demoralised workers, dissatisfied customers and even corporate reputational damage.

Has the time then come for business leaders and organisations to take a fresh look at their strategy and approach to the role and use of technology? At the same time there is a need to consider the balance and our focus around being driven or controlled by technology versus the needs of our customers and work colleagues.

For some there is probably a need to realign our thinking in terms of being focused on the problems technology can solve or the benefits it brings as opposed perhaps being taken in by the latest ‘exciting’ innovation or trend or the salesperson’s pitch!

A starting point could be considering what problems we look to solve in terms of the use of technology. These include:

  • Increasing productivity
  • Improving working practices for employees
  • Increasing operational capacity
  • Reducing costs
  • Improving profitability
  • Addressing labour and skills shortages
  • Improving and enhancing customer experience
  • Offering customers something new
  • Gaining a competitive advantage
  • Improving internal reporting and management

If any of this article resonates with you then perhaps it is time to revisit your approach and even attitude to the use and adoption of technology in your organisation.

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