It’s good to ask the obvious questions such as What is Business Technology? That’s because we all make assumptions, and by digging deeper we get the insights we all need. Sometimes when we challenge our assumptions, we get breakthroughs. No promises, but I hope you’ll find this helpful.
Rogan Hounsell-Roberts was a founder of a successful scale-up; has helped organisations across many sectors achieve success; a founder of KR5 Consulting; and passionate to help ambitious business leaders succeed.
So, what is Business Technology?
We were singing along to the music from the Italian Job as we were driving down Newlands Pass. My then young daughter asked, “what’s self-preservation?”. Sam’s reply, which is now part of our funny family stories, was “when you preserve yourself”! I’m going to answer in a similar vein, business technology is technology used in business.
So, in fact, it could be any technology. We tend to think along the lines of internet, cloud, mobile, and digital information. It could as easily be a robot arm, a precision instrument or even a procedure.
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Why assume it’s Digital?
What’s key is the link between business technology and change. If you can deliver more, faster, at less cost, or at higher quality, that changes your competitive position. In some cases that can change an entire industry, for example digital and film photography.
We’ve seen how digital technology has shaken up both business and the world in general. In the past forty years, we’ve built competitive positions on information technology. Because of the impact of digital, and the fact it’s constantly evolving, we tend to link it with business technology.
Digital Technology as a Change Driver
Until the early 1980s, typing pools were common – a group of typists providing a shared service. I’m sure typing pools were progressive in their day. In the late 70s there were signs of change with personal and business computers such as the Commodore PET, Tandy TRS, and Apple II. In 1981 the IBM PC arrived, creating a wave that within a few short years, meant that typing pools were a thing of the past.
Back then, my dad was Managing Director of The British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA). This was part of the bigger Chemical Industries Association (CIA). CIA provided those shared services such as typing pools to the various trade bodies. In the early 1980’s they offered my dad money to invest in computers instead using the pool. My dad, ever the forward thinker, jumped at the chance.
Change is Risk
We might think my dad’s decision to use PCs as obvious, but it wasn’t easy. My dad took a risk with business technology. He didn’t know if his staff would be able to adapt, or if they would be as productive. My dad carefully researched the software and decided on IBM Lotus Symphony and an early version of Microsoft Word. These were difficult to learn, and certainly not as intuitive as packages are today. It was demanding work, sometimes difficult, but in the end, it paid off.
Summing up the answer to the question of “What is business technology?”, I’d say it’s about change and being competitive. It’s about understanding the changes around you, and also learning how to apply that technology to the business. If you’d like to have a chat to help better understand your needs, give me a call on 01344 266567 or contact me on email@example.com or DM on LinkedIn to arrange a meeting.
KR5 Consulting helps senior leaders to transform & refine their business for profitable growth. We work closely with leaders to assist them in their Digital Transformation; refining their Business System; and applying Digital Technology.
If you’d like to explore the ideas in this article further or need help and advice, please contact Rogan at firstname.lastname@example.org – to arrange an informal chat.
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