As an industry, recruiters love to flog themselves to death – generally it’s a “work harder” culture rather than a “work smarter” culture. The best companies however not only work smarter, they think smarter, and they consider how they can affect the competitive landscape.
They look for unfair advantages in the form of new technology and they understand how to measure the risks and drive changes in behaviour.
However, before we get into the five key reasons why reviewing and adopting new technology is so important, it’s crucial that you consider the way the technology life-cycle evolves. Understanding this model will help you make the right decision when considering new technology.
The technology adoption life-cycle.
So, what are we looking at? Basically, for the adoption of any technology there is a timeline of adoption by the market that always ends up looking something like the one above.
Innovators and early adopters are always the first to implement these technologies and, as they begin having success, proving that the technology is effective, more companies become willing to join them and make the investment.
Late adopters and laggards only come in when the technology is fully established and continuing to refuse to use it would make them appear outdated.
Crossing the Chasm – Where the Entrepreneur Seizes Opportunity
Look at the technology adoption model again, but this time note the gap which we refer to as “Moore’s Chasm”.
Moore’s Chasm is the gap which occurs between the Innovators (Technology Enthusiasts) and Early Adopters (Visionaries), and the Early Majority (Pragmatists). Only when a technology experiences an adoption rate that allows it to leap this gap will it find success with the Early Majority (Pragmatists), leading to the technology being adopted by the wider market and eventually becoming the de facto standard:
This is important for the creators of the technology, but as a potential early adopter, why should you care?
Because around this tipping point there is a window of opportunity for companies that are willing to take a chance on adopting technology EARLY in the curve.
Here are the five key reasons why you should consider being one of these early adopters:
- You Gain a Competitive Edge
The earlier you adopt the technology, the greater the chance that it will provide a competitive advantage to your organization.
As you move along the curve, past Moore’s Chasm, the benefits of adopting the technology steadily reduce because some or all of your competitors have ALREADY implemented and learned how to utilize the technology for optimal results. The greatest benefit in technology adoption is in the first two stages and the early part of the Early Adopter phase, whilst the Late Majority and Laggards are simply playing catch up.
Yes, there’s more risk early in the curve, but the rewards can be immense for the organizations that take that leap. Those businesses that sit at the tail end of the curve generally don’t stay on top for very long and typically teeter into mediocrity.
- It Forces You to Review Your Business Model
New technology that meets perceptions of Utility and Ease of Use enables your organization to do things that it could never do before. This transforms how you think about your strategy and process.
This is what makes it scary for most organizations because it changes the way you do business and manage your resources. And organisational change is one of the hardest things to do.
But just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean you should duck the challenge. In fact, that which is hardest to do, is often the very thing that brings the greatest rewards
- You Get a Head-start On Everyone Else
As you get farther along the curve in terms of adoption, the experience you gain in using the technology gives you a greater competitive advantage. Actually, the earlier you adopt a technology, the better you’re able to understand how it affects your organization and how your strategy and process need to change in order to get the most benefit from the solution.
Relying on the best practices of others is a slippery slope because what works for one organization most likely won’t work in other environments.
- You’ll Pay Less
While budget shouldn’t be your primary concern when evaluating technology, it is something to keep in mind. However it is often perceived as a greater factor when making decisions than it merits in reality.
Typically, earlier in the life-cycle technologies can be more cost-effective for early customers; as the market matures, the price typically gets more expensive. Price will come down later on – as technology competitors enter the market to service the Laggards – but you don’t want to be adopting a technology this late in the curve.
- You Get to Shape the Vision
While any good technology provider already has a vision for the trajectory of its technology, customer input is incredibly important to truly strategic innovation.
And the truth is that, the earlier you enter the curve, the more weight your opinions will carry.
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