Challenges and Opportunities Involved with Adoption and Implementation of New Technologies

By Sudhir Kanvinde, CIO, IL&FS Transportation Networks Limited

Change and transformation are inevitable. You cannot escape change, might as well welcome and embrace it. Change should not catch one unawares, like an unexpected guest. One should know that change is bound to arrive and expect it anytime and maybe often. Let’s make change a welcomed guest and accept it with open arms and an open mind. Change, however, does not arrive in a jiffy, so we too have time to prepare ourselves. We are in a dynamic scenario where stagnancy denoted decay. There is no absolute good or bad change in technology. It is now a relative concept depending on your view point or on which side of the change you are. Anticipating changes in technology a little ahead of time will ensure that you are not caught unaware.

Adoption and implementation of new technologies for an organization does have a number of obstacles. The top management must see the immediate or long term benefits and be willing to get the organization out of the comfort zone. The top management is the true sponsors of the new technology and successful implementation is possible only with their backing. Time is very often a genuine constraint. Valuable time needs to be dedicated to understanding; molding and implementing new technology and the key resources may be severely short on time. Finding time and initiative by the key resource is of utmost importance. Budgetary priorities and cost pose another hurdle especially for technologies that reap benefits in a very long run. There is an inherent resistance to new technology, the benefits of which may not be very obvious at first. The new technology should also fit into the cultural map of the organization. The top management and the ultimate users have to accept the innovations. Implementation of new technology thus becomes an internal marketing job. Communication with and acceptance of the new technology by the various stakeholders is important. Many recent technologies do not justify themselves in the traditional financial terms but are important for the company's future. Another challenge is that of evaluating and reviewing the various stages of implementation and also deciding on the performance evaluation criteria for the new technology, once it is implemented.

Challenges and opportunities are not disjoint. They go hand in hand. Every challenge provides an opportunity to change for the better and every opportunity poses a challenge to derive the best from it. The two variants here are the changed technology and your organization dynamics. Matching them both for optimum productivity is the challenge and the same is an opportunity. Effective change management on a macro scale has the potential to take the entire economy and the country to great heights.

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