Why Businesses sometimes Struggle to Embrace Technology

June 22, 2023

Opinion Piece

Originally published on LinkedIn here.

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Article by Jaques Barnard

Business Development Manager at Cleverbit Software

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While engaging with clients on a daily basis, a clear picture emerges of the challenges they face. These challenges vary widely, from struggling to interact with existing technology solutions to finding that the solutions in place don’t support their unique business processes. It often feels like a one-size-fits-all approach is forcing business owners to change their entire operational framework.

The list of challenges goes on, and over the next few months, I aim to address these issues and provide real-life examples of how small changes can make a significant impact.

Today, I want to focus on one prevalent issue I frequently encounter:

“Because I don’t understand technology, I don’t know where to start”

As technology professionals, we sometimes forget that we speak a different language from most businesspeople. This leads to a disconnect between our perception of the world and their reality. In our conversations, we casually toss around buzzwords like Business Automation, Digital Transformation, Business Intelligence, and AI. However, when we ask businesspeople about the essence of these trending topics, the responses range from a superficial understanding to a complete misperception of what these technologies can truly achieve, and because of this, they often fail to understand how technology can support businesses in becoming more efficient and agile.

Throughout my career, which spans from being an RPG 4 programmer on the IBM AS400 to becoming a Business Analyst, Business Partner, and Business Development Manager, I have always adhered to the same principles. You cannot design a solution without first understanding the challenge at hand. This forms the basis of any design process. It is crucial to question WHY, like a curious 5-year-old, until the real challenge is uncovered and understood. Only then can we design solutions that effectively address these challenges.

As IT professionals, it is our core responsibility to grasp the challenges and, based on our understanding of the technology landscape, design solutions that meet the needs of businesses. Our goal is not to impose technology on companies simply because it’s trendy or cool. We must prioritise business conversations and build efficient solutions catering to specific requirements. That’s it.

For businesspeople, there’s no need to stress over understanding every tech trend and buzzword. With time, you will naturally gain an understanding of the ones that are relevant to making your business more efficient. What matters is recognising frustrations and reaching out to the right partners to find solutions for your challenges. Identify where you want to take your business and start small, focusing on bite-size improvements that deliver immediate value. Technology serves as the enabler to solve these challenges.

Now, let’s explore a simple yet impactful example of how technology solved a business problem related to inventory management, and how irrelevant the business understanding of technology really is.

The Scenario:

An online retailer’s customers were growing increasingly frustrated because sometimes they would order an item online, only to receive a notification days later stating that the item was out of stock.

The Issue:

The stock volumes between the retailer’s online store and their stock management system, used for managing inventory in physical stores, were not synchronised. Stock levels on the online store were manually updated by an employee on a daily basis.

The Solution:

By integrating the two systems, the stock volumes can be automatically synchronised, ensuring the online store always reflects accurate real-time stock levels.

In this simple example, you can see that there’s no need for technical jargon. It’s about understanding the business problem and implementing a straightforward solution that resolves multiple issues within the company.

If you were to ask the tech experts, they would typically describe this as a Digital Transformation or part of a Hyperautomation solution, facilitated by data integrations from your source systems.

The key takeaway is that as a business owner, you don’t need to become an expert in technology or label everything with the latest tech jargon. What matters most is, to initiate a conversation, and through business dialogue, address and find technology solutions for your most pressing challenges.

Here is more about the topic of Business Automation

Headquartered in Europe, Cleverbit Software is a prominent custom software development company, employing over 70 skilled professionals across the EU, UK and US. Specialising in custom software for business efficiency, we work with a diverse international clientele in various industries including banking and insurance, SaaS, and healthcare. Our commitment to solving problems and delivering solutions that work makes us a trusted partner with our clients.

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