Which comes first, the introduction of new technologies or the need for organizational improvements? Nick Pisano recognizes the importance of laying the proper groundwork for a project, aside from the simple “nuts and bolts” aspects. Pisano wants us to acknowledge that there are disruptive technological changes to IT infrastructures that truly warrant skepticism.
Handling Disruptive Technology
Specifically, he warns that we must avoid applying the (useful) market phenomenon of disruptive change to the customer’s environment, stating that:
The key, I think, is…systems analysis and engineering that works hand-in-hand with the deployment of the technological improvement. There was a reason for asking for the technology in the first place, whether it be improved communications, improved productivity, or qualitative factors. Going in willy-nilly with a new technology that provides unexpected benefits–even if those benefits are both useful and will improve the work process–can often be greeted with fear, sabotage, and obstruction.
In sum, there is a real need to introduce systems analysis expertise in concert with a particular technology. Not accounting for this harmonization can result in conflicts of interest between IT consultants, technology providers, and acquiring managers.
Paving the Way for Tech Change
Pisano offers two approaches to the anticipated introduction of new and potentially disruptive technologies. One is to use the physical and human resources of the organization to prepare for the change. The other is to simply rely on an outside provider to offer the service. He believes that technology providers should be fully aware of their target markets, as well as the process improvement requirements of their client’s industry. To that end, tech providers must prepare the organizational environment for the changes that are to come, from setting expectations to having those expectations accepted – ensuring a positive reception for new technologies.