There are numerous traits that make someone a good leader, and knowing how to plan ahead has always been one of the most important. However, in fields that are as quickly-changing as the technology field, planning for the ever-shifting future can be quite tricky. So, how do you plan for future that changes from one day to the other? Here are a few strategies technology leaders can take to better future-proof their work.
Say „no to early adoption
This may sound as the most counter-intuitive advice anyone can give you, as the general conception is that staying alive in the technology field means staying ahead, and while that does apply in some scenarios, it’s not a universal rule. For example, being an early adopter of a newly launched technology is a good idea; investing a lot of money and resources into a technology that’s promising but has yet to pass the test of time might not be as good.
New technologies come and go every day, and even though most of them start from a great vision, without proper management a whole lot of them don’t make it from one year to another. Building your future plans on a technology that doesn’t have a safe future is not a good business decision, and can easily bring your business to its knees.
The best strategy is to always be aware of what’s happening in the technology field, but refrain from jumping in until the waters settle. Let others be the testing rats for new technologies, but be ready to jump in once it’s clear which will be the technology of tomorrow.
Do your homework
With the risk of becoming repetitive, one of the most important aspects you need to keep in mind about technology is that it’s always changing. The reason we put so much emphasis on this is that this is the key for being able to make the most out of it.
Your business’ needs may not change in time, but the technology you use along the way will, so it’s crucial to correctly asses your needs and put together a flow chart that clearly explains what you need and how your current technology gets the job done. It may not make a lot of sense at the time, as your entire workflow and though process seem straightforward, but some time down the road you might not be able to remember what that awesome plan that you had for a specific technology was.
Also, when a technology that can help you achieve the same end-result but in another way might become available, you might not even notice it because you will be too focused looking for technologies that use the same process. Always document everything regarding your business, your goals, and the use of your current technology, and you should be able to easily spot a promising technology that can revolutionize the way you do business. Future you will thank you.
This might sound a bit like the opposite of the first strategy, but it’s not. Change should be expected and adopted, but it needs to be done in a correct manner. This is where a lot of businesses fail – they go with the old if it’s not broken don’t fix it-philosophy, which may give the impression that it works for a while, but it will definitely prove to be a bad choice on the long run.
Instead of falling into the trap of sliding into a comfort zone, you should start with accepting the idea that your business will need to change and adapt in time, and take that into account when planning for your future. Try to keep things as simple and as straight-forward as possible, without making your systems overly-complex and dependent of each other. Using a modular approach whenever possible is the best way to go at it, as it will allow you to make upgrades on the fly without disrupting the whole functionality of your business.
Another great idea for making changes painless is developing a set of tests you can use every time you make an upgrade, to ensure everything works as intended and nothing was broken during an upgrade.
Apply these simple strategies and the future will never catch you and your business unprepared.
This blog is listed under Development & Implementations Community