When compared to smaller start-ups, enterprises are traditionally viewed as being more risk averse and have therefore been slow to embrace new technology – often much to the chagrin and frustration of some of their gadget-toting employees.
In order to help enterprise strategists compare their company’s use of technology against that of competitors, and help them decide when, how and where to adopt new technologies, Gartner, the world’s leading information technology (IT) research and advisory company, has even created a framework that classifies enterprises according to their technology adoption profiles.
The classification is based on an enterprise’s willingness and strategies to embrace current technologies as well as on whether the strategy is adequately funded and supported by the management.
Companies that are described as “technically aggressive” are well-funded and use IT to keep abreast of competitors. According to Gartner’s system, they are classified as Type A enterprises. Type B enterprises – the category that the majority of enterprises fall under – are mainstream IT users with adequate funds that use IT for productivity. The Type C’s are the most risk averse and technologically conservative, and carefully control their IT expenditures.
“Some of those Type C’s and even the still-conservative Type B enterprises have a legitimate reason for not wanting to be so quick to embrace specific tech trends, such as the new Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) culture that more tech savvy start-ups are latching onto,” says Anton van Heerden, General Manager of Altech ISIS.
“Risk aversion is not always simply about an unwillingness to spend money on IT. While startups might encourage employees to use their personal mobile devices for business – thereby ensuring mobility and, in some instances, even increased productivity – more cautious enterprises might hold back due to security concerns. They worry about whether their company’s systems will be breached – leading to theft of information or data – which is a perfectly valid concern.”
However, Van Heerden notes that there are many instances where enterprises ought to take the lead from startups, especially when it comes to adopting certain technologies.
“Enterprises could benefit greatly from emulating the same, more high tech, agile approach that start-ups have when it comes to using new technology,” Van Heerden says. “A good example is how start-ups are eagerly using the cloud as well as more modern, open source software, tools and processes. On the other hand, enterprises are stuck in a rut with expensive, unwieldy software – for which they annually have to shell out even more money to pay costly licensing fees. Being progressive and switching to customised solutions will be far more cost effective in the long run.”
Van Heerden says that competitors might usurp those enterprises that are too slow to embrace new technology. “With technology changing so rapidly, we realise it can be daunting to find something that best suits your enterprise’s particular needs. Altech ISIS has a customised offering designed to assist clients to run their businesses better through the more effective use of technology. Through our ability to adapt to local conditions, we will help you to adapt your company to stay cutting-edge and ahead of the competition.”