Technology Change Management
Technological change is a broad term that describes a range of phenomena and changes in technological systems. Technological change is also known as technological evolution or evolutionary change. Technological change is also referred to as disruptive change and metropolises. Technological change is a diffuse phenomenon with no clear pattern, as it can be rapid, diffuse, or peripatetic. Technological change occurs through many different channels and it is a general notion that all technological change is negative, though there are exceptions.
Technological change or rapid technological evolution is the broad process of innovation, development, and diffusion of new technologies or procedures. Technological change occurs for many reasons such as software, communication, machine, information, and physical sciences. It occurs rapidly because of the forces of internal and external competition, by users increasing their demand for new technology, businesses are pressured to adopt newer technologies or procedures, and the dearth of effective systems for delivery, information, and financial management. Rapid technological change may also be a result of policy changes, business cycles, economic constraints, and social attitudes. The pace of change may be measured by historical periods or percentages of total change and also by the rate at which new technologies or process improvements are introduced.
Technological change occurs for several reasons. One of these reasons is a push and pull factor by stakeholders, who may push for change because of the need for effective processes and tools, and others because of the need for new technology. Companies also push for change on the basis of perceived threats from new technology, internal uncertainties, or a desire for new competitive advantage. Some technology change is also driven by organizational objectives to exploit specific markets or to create new processes and/or tools.
Technological change occurs across all dimensions of a process. Processes are transformed because of changes in technology and process models and because of budget constraints, business requirements, or business conditions. Change can occur in design and structures, processes, and activities. Organizations should consider whether any of these changes are driven by organizational objectives and whether any of these objectives are able to be implemented.
Organizations should measure the effect of any and all technology-related changes on their internal processes. These measurements should include not only the effect of technology on the process in terms of costs, schedule, quality, and quantity but also on the impact of technology on the organizations’ ability to innovate and compete. If there is no measurable impact on internal processes, then there is little impact on organizational performance. Organizations should also conduct a SWOT analysis, identifying areas of weakness, opportunities for strategic positioning, and threats from competition and external threats.
Organizations should also measure and benchmark the impact of any and all technology-related changes. They should evaluate the effect on business metrics, sales, and market growth indicators, and overall company performance metrics. This assessment should also include a comparison of expected technology investments with actual ones. Comparison across organizations should compare annual and monthly technology investments by the end of each year to the actual amounts spent during the year. Comparison to historical periods can also provide insight into the effect of investments on future growth and performance.
Organizations should track, record, document, and facilitate measurement of the effect of all technology change through the establishment of appropriate change measurement and control systems. The measurement of change will help managers monitor and measure technologies that have a direct or indirect impact on business activities. Managers can use various tools and frameworks to measure and control change.
Technology change is an inevitable part of business activities. However, managers must remain flexible to respond to and adjust to technology change. Organizations need to determine what technologies are necessary to execute their operations. Organizations also need to define and specify the scope of technology innovation. This process will involve a thorough consideration of technology, operational requirements, business impact, and other factors. Managing this change successfully will help organizations prosper.