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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Avoiding Technology Paralysis

I see it everyday. Companies know that they need to increase their capabilities, update their engineering software, and get their staff up to speed on the latest and greatest technologies for their industry. Some have even purchased expensive new software and installed it on their designers' computers. However, there it sits... unused potential just taking up hard drive space.

Why would a company spend money on a product that they don't use? Well, there could be any number of reasons, but here are some of the most common hurdles companies deal with when trying to implement new technology.

Lack of training. Unless your users are already experienced in the solution that you are implementing, don't forget that they are going to need some kind of training to get them going. Not many users are capable of learning without instruction. How much training is required is dependent on the magnitude of change being implemented and the ability of each user to learn and embrace new concepts.

Lack of motivation. It may be your vision to implement new technology that is going to take your company to new levels of productivity, but do your users share the same vision? To many of them, this is just something new that is going to make their jobs harder. You must clearly communicate the benefits of the new solution and the dedication of the company to support it and those that will be using it. Some users will easily embrace the new technology while others will resist with everything they've got. Be prepared to mandate this new way of doing things for your entire company or be prepared for a division of your users into the "new order" and the "old order".

Lack of time. This is probably the most real and difficult hurdle when implementing new technology at companies. Users for whom time is already scarce are now being asked to somehow squeeze in time to integrate new systems. Be prepared to make concessions on deadlines or pick a slow period to allow your users to get up to speed. Try targeting one or two users at a time to use your new solution on a specific project to allow for gradual implementation rather than going across the board and bringing your users to a screeching halt.

Whatever your specific hurdles, know that implementation of new technology will not only make your company more competitive but is necessary to keep up in today's market. Be prepared to do more than just research what's available and then purchase the technology. You must have a plan for implementation of your new solution or you will end up just wasting time and money. Work closely with a company that has already successfully made a similar leap in technology or with a consultant that has helped other companies like your own implement a similar solution. Do this, and before you know it, your company will be light years ahead of your competition!

Tek Lentine is an expert in the field of Digital Prototyping and other hi-tech engineering solutions. Tek currently works as an account manager for Hagerman & Co offering not only Digital Prototyping software and hardware but also training and consulting expertise in the areas that he writes about. You can contact Tek with questions or comments by email at TekLentine@Hagerman.com or on his cell phone at (615) 335-2225. Be sure to check out Hagerman & Co's web site at http://www.hagerman.com/

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