The Democratisation of Technology
Today, anywhere we look technology has permeated the way we live our lives. We have seen the full democratisation of technology. In fact, it often takes a rare instance of a lack of signal or a Wi-Fi outage for us to realise our true reliance on technology. Without an internet connection I couldn’t do my job, I couldn’t socialise with my friends, I can’t download the latest e-book or stream TV.
In recent times, Facebook, or Meta as they’re now known, were dragged through the news about the way in which they process our personal information. Outrage, yet moments later we get back to that exact same technology without even a second thought.
We’re all incredibly familiar with the way in which technology dominates our personal lives but the impact on businesses seems to have been more of a slow burner. However, all the trends indicate that it is now gathering momentum with a vengeance. It’s no longer about the digitally native organisations like Amazon, Netflix, or Uber, we’ve come to know and love. Now any organisation, in any industry, that isn’t answering the call to digitise is officially known as a legacy organisation.
But how will this democratisation take shape in the business world?
Technological innovation is allowing companies to scale in ways that simply haven’t been possible before. In the past, insurmountable barriers to entry like on-premise infrastructure costs or even internal development resource requirements, meant only a few companies had the economies of scale to make digitisation possible. Today, Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-service takes this burden off the shoulders of businesses by making it entirely accessible through the cloud, infrastructure-free. This puts the likes of AI-powered chatbots, software robotics and Internet of Things capabilities into the hands of lean start-ups.
However, what has always interested me the most is that this isn’t actually a technology problem, and never has been. It’s a people problem. As important as it is for our businesses to provide these services for their external customers, it’s as important to provide this for their employees. SaaS vendor ServiceNow put this at the heart of their go-to-market strategy. It’s about enabling your employees, your internal customer, to provide the very best experience for your external customer. In today’s world, the only way this is possible is through the full democratisation of technology within the workplace. It’s about removing the burden of manual work that makes us dread Monday mornings and empowering employees to focus on the exciting projects that drive your business forward.
How do we go about democratising technologies throughout our businesses?
The reason why businesses have lagged behind the consumer marketplace in this respect is due to the change-averse and risk-averse nature with which the majority of organisations operate. The majority of businesses still heavily rely on individual, if not teams, of subject matter experts in order to function. If you are to fully democratise technology, it is crucial that it requires little to no specialised skills. This is often known as creating citizen developers. This is why automation, AI powered analytics and low/no-code development have become prominent features of digital transformation programmes across the sector. It is in no uncertain terms putting the power to technologically innovate into everyone’s hands. In most organisations today, innovation is centralised in
a standalone department. If you want to innovate, talk to IT. But what do IT know about Finance or HR processes? Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense if members of the Finance or HR team were empowered to do the innovating themselves?
Doing this takes the emphasis away from IT and places the power of digital transformation in the hands of anyone in the organisation, giving them the autonomy to fix, develop and enhance their own processes. But the benefits don’t just operate at a process level. Innovation on a process-scale compounds to have a huge influence on the business as a whole. Now every employee is focused on improving their part of the puzzle so that the organisation as a whole can better provide clean, reliable water to everyone.
The question remains, what steps are you taking today to democratise technology in your business?
If you are looking to setup a successful digital transformation programme, please reach out to us here at Crossfuze and we would be happy to discuss how other organisations have created a roadmap with ServiceNow that has set them up for long-term success.