Modern businesses are investing in 3D printers, emerging technologies, and advanced management platforms to create a more streamlined experience in the workplace. They are wooing clients with innovative approaches to modern technology, and training their staff to be ahead of the game in the latest industry developments.
Sounds great, right?
However, a study conducted by the ACMA, SMEs and Digital Communications Technologies, found that many Australian businesses are intentionally choosing to be late adopters of digital communications technology, despite being aware of its importance.It begs the question, are senior executives falling behind their millennial counterparts with regards to technological literacy? To find out, we explore what it means to be an early and late adopter in the current digital climate.
1. What Are the Barriers to Technological Uptake?
Slow technology uptake stems from a variety of concerns among senior executive teams. Financial constraints, attitudes, and associated risks have major impacts on the implementation of new technologies in the workplace.
Technological inertia describes the resistance to technological change, whether deliberate or systematic. Technological inertia is frequently seen as a negative force in the current digital environment, delaying and discouraging industry adoption of new management technologies. Limited protections against poor technological investments has discouraged some from funding new technology.
Furthermore, ‘Technology and Australia’s Future,’ a research paper exploring new technologies and their role, found that;
Risk can also hinder technological advancements within business and management. Business resistance to adopting cutting-edge technology due to fear and concern that new technology could damage or disrupt existing business models, is referred to as the ‘innovator’s dilemma.’
"Technology adoption can be substantially influenced by attitudes, from both business and customer perspectives. These attitudes can be ingrained, contradictory, and tacit. Collective attitudes - workplace cultures and norms - can also have a substantial influence on the adoption of new technology."
2. Are Millennial-managed businesses faster to embrace new technologies?
The millennial generation are rapid tech adopters. Generation Y have come to expect technology to simply work, due to user-friendly advancements in the past decade (particularly when compared to previous generations). Further, millennial key traits include craving adventure and new experiences. They travel far more than previous generations, and business travel is seen as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience. Understanding the mechanics of millennial travel is important for introducing corporate travel platforms that support visibility, insight, and analysis.according to Barkley. Millennials know how to deal with problems that arise from new technologies, and perceive failure as an inevitable part of learning, and progress. They embrace danger and high-risk purchasing decisions, making it harder for senior professionals to compete. Locomote’s own Chief Financial Officer, Pip Spibey, says ‘today’s finance leaders need a strong tech literacy to keep pace with their industries.’
3. So, should the C-Suite be concerned when it comes to slow tech adoption?
Although millennials are investing in the latest gadgets, 56% of CFOs invest in dashboards and analytic technologies. C-Suite leaders aim to understand and manage IT better, ensuring the right platforms are put in place, based on the needs of their company. The corporate travel management industry is a good example of how senior managerial teams are incorporating new technologies to reduce expenditure and drive business development.
“The diversity of technologies, and the diversity of motivations, requirements, resources, organisational structures and cultures within businesses, there are no universal prescriptions. The uptake of new technologies by business and industry is highly context-dependent.”
Businesses can’t afford to innovate for the sake of innovation - technology should offer direct benefits to businesses and customers before it is adopted. Responsible and appropriate use of technology is more important to success than early adoption. So long as slow uptake is intentional and strategic, it will have a positive effect on Australian businesses now, and in the future.
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