On the list of factors that influence the inner workings of any organization, technological advancements are definitely at the top. Rami Jaulus, NGG CEO, reminds companies that they must prepare for technological changes and take into account the conflicts they may cause within the organization
In the past, organizations were influenced by the introduction of new products, changes in customers’ preferences, regulation, and competition. Today, the main precipitant of transformation for all parties involved is technology.
Technology affects the way customers communicate with the organization. It exposes customers, competitors, and regulators to information that used to be privileged; enables self-service functions; and more.
Technology is developing much more quickly than any other source of influence over the organization. Its impact is felt much more intensely and it requires its own type of preparation.
However, it is important to realize that investing in technology itself does not mean one is ready for the changes it brings. In spite of technology’s powerful influence, consumer habits and companies’ willingness to adapt and embrace new technologies are still evolving.
Conflicts that impede change in the organization
As mentioned, technology is a catalyst for change and a facilitator of change, to an extent. However, certain conflicts within the organization can impede change:
Tensions related to traditional jobs: Many companies still revere traditional positions and believe that employees must be experts in all areas.
The self-service conflict: It may seem like senior employees have certain skills that cannot be disseminated. Their functions require knowledge and experience and cannot be outsourced to the customers themselves.
Conflicts arising from the exposure of information: “Our data is confidential and must never be exposed” – this is a common belief in organizations that are afraid of exposing information to customers and allowing them to act independently.
Strategy vs. technology: Which one has the upper hand? This is a very powerful conflict. Strategy shapes the organization’s course of action in light of market circumstances and existing developments. However, technology by its very nature governs the organization’s strategic direction, and an understanding of technology is critical in making strategic decisions.
The digital space conflict: Who takes the lead – the business line or the direct channels? Direct channels are in charge of diverting customer interactions to digital platforms in order to reduce costs, while business units operate to get the most out of each customer. Which one, then, should handle the digital space? The solution to this conflict does not begin and end with subordinating the two units to the same board member, because tensions will continue to boil in the lower ranks. It is important to define roles and authorities and formulate decision-making procedures that will allow the organization to navigate smoothly in the complex world of technological integration.
Simply investing in technology without making the proper adjustments will not result in readiness for change, but only cause frustration and use up unnecessary resources. In order to be productive and lead the company toward growth, investment in technology must go hand in hand with organization-wide personal and systematic change processes.