When we founded OneSource Virtual, we started by asking the question, “How would you deliver outsourcing solutions in the new, cloud-driven world?” We set out to solve problems that, in 2008, had not yet become a common consideration for most companies. We believed that to be successful we had to create a new way of delivering services and did not focus on solving the current problems faced by existing BPO providers. The result was the creation of Business Process as a Service (BPaaS), and it established a new model in the industry.
All too often leaders are caught up in shortsightedly chasing the latest tech trend and end up with costly ERP and back office solutions that overpromise and underperform. When a new solution fails, the technology is blamed and emerging trends are dismissed. These tendencies are dangerous and can result in an organization overspending on unnecessary tech and delaying innovation by not employing the appropriate solution.
How do you use technology to solve the issues you face today, as well as meet future needs to be on the leading edge of your industry?
Apply Solutions That Address Problems Now, As Well As Strategic Future Planning
Technology can transform organizations, but you have to be willing and able to change your processes to keep pace with the ever-increasing rapidity of technological advancement. When making a business decision on how to best address a problem, ask yourself three questions:
- What problem are we trying to solve today?
- Where are we going?
- Where do we want to be?
The solution you put in place needs to answer these questions. It should solve the immediate problem and concurrently support a desired path to meet or exceed future benchmarks. Leaders that use technology to not just become more efficient with today’s processes, but rather use it as an enduring mechanism to help better answer questions about the business, will transform their companies to be readily equipped for exciting opportunities in the future.
Always Look at Technology as a Long-Term Investment Instead of a Temporary Replacement
If you use technology to solve only the problems of today, in four years you will most likely be the same company.
What if Blockbuster had revamped its delivery model from brick-and-mortar video rental stores to a subscription-based streaming service instead of constantly refining in-store processes? Would companies such as Netflix and Hulu have had the opportunity to reinvent the way we consume home entertainment?
If you adopt technology to gain better insight into your organization and customers, you will solve problems before they have a chance to occur and be better positioned to effectually disrupt the current market, break away from your peers and competitors, and transform forward into an industry leader.
Think Outside the Update and Use Technology to Transform Outdated Models
Technology should make you better at what you are doing right now and align with what you plan to do in the future. It should resolve existing issues while simultaneously streamlining processes to favorably impact your organization over time. If record labels had moved quicker to embrace the commoditization of digital music, would they be hosting their own services instead of splitting profits with iTunes and Spotify?
Leaders who use technology to temporarily resolve immediate problems will not move their organizations forward. However, companies that find ways to use technology to create new ways of delivering services instead of using tech to simply solve existing problems don’t just survive to continue competing within their market, they transform forward to redefine the market itself. When you are considering deploying a new solution, don’t just consider the here and now, consider where you want your organization to be in 5-10 years and then use technology as a long-term tool to thoughtfully, forcibly transform your organization.