Is Technology the Reason You’re Not Achieving Performance Breakthroughs? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Posted On July 14, 2016

In my prior blog, I discussed the phenomenon that vetted, powerful new technologies such as cloud, analytics, cognitive computing and robotic process automation (RPA) should be making big differences in businesses; but for the most part, they’re achieving only modest, incremental benefits. Why aren’t they delivering performance breakthroughs?

In answering this question, we need to consider the technologies themselves. Are they overhyped? Or is it that they are too immature?

Let’s think about cognitive computing, for example. IBM has absolutely demonstrated the power of Watson. They used an interesting way to do that by having this cognitive computing technology compete and win at Jeopardy. Google just had its cognitive agent compete and win at Go. If you dig deeper, you find that IBM can run off an impressive set of use cases for cognitive technologies from assisting doctors in diagnosing illnesses and a wide variety of things to helping equity analysts make decisions around stocks.

So cognitive technologies such as Watson or IPsoft’s call center cognitive agent Amelia are robust. Yes, these technologies will mature further. Yes, they will become more powerful. But cognitive computing’s current capabilities clearly could be a game-changer in many different industries and problem sets. Yet it’s not happening.

Let’s turn our attention to cloud. We’ve been looking at and kicking cloud for a decade now. Clearly the proof cases are there that this is a mature technology. There are whole businesses running in a cloud environment (Netflix for example). Massive workloads, both production and new workloads such as Hadoop or analytics workloads, are accomplished daily in the cloud. So why hasn’t it changed the average enterprise environment? The technology of cloud is now, under any reasonable assessment, mature and capable of supporting production and enterprise-quality work.

Or take analytics. Clearly we now have an enormous body of work and tremendous ramp-up of data scientists. So why are most organizations largely underutilizing it in changing their business? The technology is capable.

In the area of robotic automation, look at what IPsoft is doing with its autonomics, and look at what Blue Prism is doing in the BPO field. Again, the technology is robust and production quality. It’s working in numerous situations. So why aren’t most companies using it? And where they are using it, why isn’t it creating a fundamental performance breakthrough in those businesses?

Part of the answer could be adoption. It takes time for new technologies to be understood and for companies and organizations be willing and able to apply them.

But it’s not the maturity. There’s no doubt the technology is robust and mature and certainly ready to create performance breakthroughs.

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