TAPAS – What Will You Do When Technology Trends Are Served to You on a Platter?
Author: Hilla Karni, Director of Sales Enablement
Recently I had the honor of running ClickUniveristy, ClickSoftware’s workshop at ClickConnect EMEA in Lisbon, with an impressive mix of business operations directors and IT managers from a wide range of industries.
The chosen topic this year revolved around the technology trends and their impact on mobile workforce management. As technology trends vary over the years, the concept was to drive a discussion around the technology trends that impact business the most, mobility, cloud, social media, and (big) data; however, the key was to provide a structured methodology to help any service organization assess whether a certain technology will provide substantial value. I named it the TAP methodology, for Technology Assessment Process.
In this post I will share with you key insights I gained from top decision makers in field service, and needless to say, I look forward to hearing from you about your thought and chosen platter!
Insight #1: Same but Different
As we followed the methodology steps, it was clear that there are unique market pressures and business objectives for every business. But when it comes to the business challenges, there is a list of common challenges that the service organizations have to address:
- Efficiency and agility
- How to handle skill gaps
- Better SLA, narrower appointments, and more importantly meeting those customer commitments
- Demand predication and service execution
- Balance maintenance work
As we reached common ground it was easier to drive discussion that everyone can relate to.
Insight #2: Social- Time Saving or Time Consuming?
The discussion around social media and its value to field service raised many questions. The participants agreed that the perceived value of social media to the business is mainly around knowledge collaboration; however, there are mixed feelings about whether this technology trend brings any value, as it may be more of a time consuming process that brings no value to the service organization.
The argument was mainly around the structure of the service organization. In a case where a service organization is more functionally built, then there is less of a value.
Insight #3: Social- Informal Platform for Change Management
Having said that, it was agreed by all that social technology in field service can be a driver for change management. As a good messaging mechanism, the social technology can support the informal change management process within the service organization. As being part of a group is good driver for behavior.
Insight #4: Cloud- IT Domain Only???
Talking about cloud to business decision makers and IT personnel in the same room was quite interesting.
At the beginning of the discussion, most of the benefits mentioned about cloud were IT related. The participants strongly insisted it is mainly IT infrastructure and the value is mainly around simplified IT infra, scalability, and flexibility (which result in better lead time). After we invited Udi Keidar, our VP of cloud operations, to speak about cloud trends and value, the discussion took a different direction.
Now it was clear that IT benefits from cloud technology, but it also supports the business needs, so that the business units can gain better user experience, faster time to market while the bottom line is controlled and built to grow only when required.
Insight #5: Mobility-Highest Value
As we progressed in our methodology, we wanted to evaluate which technology will drive higher value to your business. That was actually the highlight of the discussion, when all participants made assessments of the different technology to their business, and shared with us their own priority, even before mashing up all technologies together.
The result was clear – 60% of the participants voted for mobility as a key driver to address business challenges and contribute the highest value to their business.
The main reasons that were discussed were:
- Always on– anytime, anywhere
- Immediate, real time
- Better decisions
To summarize, we all agreed that a technology trend should not be immediately adopted just because it is a buzz. Every business organization should asses the technology trend’s perceived value, assess its ability to address current challenges, and, accordingly, evaluate the value it may bring to the business.
At the end of the day, there will always be the question of how the technology will fit into the organization, the IT landscape, as well as the cultural aspects. While looking for innovation and market leadership you need the right technology at the right time to support the right business processes!
In the next post I will share with you more insights when it comes to the value of the technology mash up in mobile workforce management.