I do love technology, but…
This is my first post in Medium, and I will try to share my view regarding technology, the power of it and the hype around many possibilities in the last months.
I do love technology. I have been working in ITC for 24+ years. I have studied electronics, automation, robotics. Back in 1989, I studied Neural Networks and Artificial Vision at the University. Processes took a whole day for small images. I have worked a little bit with COBOL, legacy systems, UNIX, C, Databases, client/server technologies, API,… Airlines, Telecom companies, Cash in Transit, Public Sector, small companies, big companies. I have developed, run projects, work on governance, product launch, managing small companies. A lot of learnings, some mistakes.
What I like about technology is how it can help people and business. By experience, I am more focused on business, but I have always tried to think about the end customer and how a specific product and technology help them. I don’t usually like technology isolated from the benefits that it can bring.
I am aware of the amazing possibilities that arise from the convergence of many different technologies, that are maturing very quickly: broadband communications, IoT, distributed ledger technologies, APIs, Big Data, Machine Learning, AI, cloud, edge computing, VR, AR,…
But I think that there is too much hype in many of them, lack of credibility, marketing washing, lack of maturity, real business impact and a kind of a me-too in jargon tagging. I am afraid that we will end up having AI empowered, cloud, big data, powered by Ethereum tokens, virtual reality and accessible through API grocery or washing machine.
What I would like to propose, as a kind of one person manifesto is:
- Reality is bigger and more beautiful than this. Technology tackles a reduced aspect of it. Never forget it or you will miss the bigger point.
- Do not lose personal touch with customers, partners, employees. It is important.
- What is important for companies is to provide good product and service to their customers and build an operational model suited to the new digital channels and possibilities. Digital transformation for the sake of digital transformation is meaningless.
- This operational model will be built around a modular enterprise: rock-solid business core, powerful interfaces and flexible business models leveraging on new technologies.
- Go back to the basics. Owning customer relationship and building and enhancing the distribution channel or service value chain is the foundation of your business. Be aware of many compelling offerings that takes you one step back from customer relationship or learning.
- What we are facing right now is a technological push of platforms, algorithms and techniques. Start always with the business question, and then use the technology, not the other way around. This push is due to the need of many startups, VC, consultants to create business.
- Between the hype-surfers (jumping from hype to hype) and the legacy-anchors (let’s avoid change no matter) there is space to apply and learn from innovation. Start with the business need and ensure that there is an end to end business process to start the whole value.
- Ensure that scalability, security, cost, flexibility, maintenance, service, is considered from the start. This can be boring, and never use them as an excuse for not acting. It doesn’t mean that you have to do everything right now, but keep an eye on the whole journey.
- Make things happen. It is better to have a solid and robust implementation than a perfect and always moving target. Implement-measure-iterate.
- Capture, analyze and act on information. Do not get trapped into the technical complexities of big data/machine learning/algorithms but do ensure that you base your company in information.
- Have a critical mindset, as all this information will come from a reduced aspect of reality. Once an algorithm is deployed is very easy to forget if this is still applicable, or the conditions have changed.
This is my personal opinion, and I am open to continue learning with your inputs.