With technology rapidly changing, businesses are often hard-pressed to change the tech they use without causing a break in business continuity. Fortunately, CIOs that keep themselves up to date on the latest trends and shifts can apply that knowledge to predict the timing of a new technology shift, as well as help their organizations identify possible risks and benefits.
A Fine Balance
Timing is an important aspect of new technologies, and it can be difficult to predict exactly when a technology will take off. Conventional wisdom dictates that when a superior technology appears, CIOs should simply work on making a seamless transition from the old technology to the new. However, this is more of a guess than a strategy, and businesses need to strike the fine balance between deploying too late and missing the shift, or deploying too early and wasting time and resources.
Technology vs. Ecosystem
There are two sides to deploying a new technology: the technology itself, and the ecosystem it will be deployed in. The CIO needs to understand both and examine the old ecosystem as well. This will allow the CIO to better predict timing, increase the coherency of plans for leveraging opportunities and dealing with security issues, and make more informed decisions about resource allocation.
Fast or Slow Replacement
There are a number of strategies CIOs can use to ensure their businesses are making the right decisions on replacing the current ecosystem and technology, including:
- Creative replacement: New technology easily replaces the old
- Coexistence: Both technologies exist in fairly even numbers at the same time, utilizing adaptability to grow beyond both
- Fast resilience: Change is swift once ecosystem challenges are resolved
- Slow resilience: Replacement is slow because of ecosystem challenges and the ability of the old technology to be improved
Choosing when and how to make the transition to a new technology can be just as complex as the transition itself, and a good CIO will use every tool at their disposal to ensure they can make the best prediction on timing. The CIO should be aware not only of the technology itself, but also of existing and emerging ecosystems — whether that’s knowing when an old ecosystem can be improved or that a new ecosystem can fully support the new technology. In this way, businesses avoid deploying too early or too late, and can remain competitive within their fields.