The mistakes businesses make with technology

by Jay Short, Business Development Director at Impossible Labs

We are in the midst of a technological revolution that has the potential to genuinely improve the world we live in and impact the way we work and communicate.

During my career I have learned some lessons that I want to share with any business currently looking at AI/VR/AR/AML/3DP or any other acronym that has piqued the interest of a market research group, or had an article written about why it is the next big thing for healthcare, finance, engineering or any other industry.

Why should you use AI/VR/AR? Really. Why?

Why should I use this technology?

This question seems incredibly simple, but is rarely explicitly asked.

I have had many conversations with senior figures within large organisations who have approached me and said ‘we really want to do something with *a particular technology*’. This approach will easily lead businesses down an expensive digital highway.

Let’s take Virtual Reality as an example: if you read all the articles about VR, then you may begin to think that it will solve all of your problems. To a certain extent it might, but it can also become a case of using a technology as the square peg to solve a problem of a spherical nature.

For example, imagine you are a landlord and your tenants have complained about a draught coming in under the doors of their properties. If you go to an unscrupulous VR company they will suggest the perfect solution: you need to line up five Oculus Rift boxes in front of your door and this will solve the draught problem. This solves the problem, but not maybe as effectively as the more traditional solution of a draught excluder.

A far better approach is to embrace innovation as a whole and think about the problem that you are trying to solve with an open mind. Rather than asking ‘how can chatbots improve our customer retention rates’, ask ‘how can we as a business improve our customer retention rates?’ Sometimes the solution may be simpler than you first thought.

The Importance Of Knowledge

In addition to asking the question ‘Why should I use this technology?’, it is important for a business to educate itself before taking the plunge.

Two of the companies I have enjoyed working with most are Skanska and Jaguar Land Rover. Before there were any discussions around particular projects we had many exploratory conversations at various levels whilst they educated themselves.

The people I met with knew their businesses inside out but were happy to admit that they did not understand the technologies I was working with. At the same time, I was happy to admit that I did not understand the technicalities of the construction and automotive engineering processes. We learnt from each other and our relationship developed, as did our understandings of the possibilities and the limitations within that particular industry and technology.

Both of these companies are now thought of as highly innovative and they have real-life examples to back this up. These reputations did not appear overnight, but were established by cultivating a culture of embracing and exploring technology.

The most successful companies don’t go chasing trends, but invest the time to understand the potential ‘next big thing’ and decide if it is the next big thing for them, for someone else or just the next Elcaset.

These are just a few thoughts and I am always happy to talk further with those who agree or disagree! If you want to talk further, get in touch with me at contact-at-impossible.com In addition to asking the question ‘Why should I use this technology?’, it is important for a business to educate itself before taking the plunge.

Two of the companies I have enjoyed working with most are Skanska and Jaguar Land Rover. Before there were any discussions around particular projects we had many exploratory conversations at various levels whilst they educated themselves.

The people I met with knew their businesses inside out but were happy to admit that they did not understand the technologies I was working with. At the same time, I was happy to admit that I did not understand the technicalities of the construction and automotive engineering processes. We learnt from each other and our relationship developed, as did our understandings of the possibilities and the limitations within that particular industry and technology.

Both of these companies are now thought of as highly innovative and they have real-life examples to back this up. These reputations did not appear overnight, but were established by cultivating a culture of embracing and exploring technology.

The most successful companies don’t go chasing trends, but invest the time to understand the potential ‘next big thing’ and decide if it is the next big thing for them, for someone else or just the next Elcaset.

These are just a few thoughts and I am always happy to talk further with those who agree or disagree! If you want to talk further, get in touch with me at contact-at-impossible.com or via LinkedIn.

Find out more about the work we do at Impossible Labs.