I was just speaking with a property manager, and somehow we ended up having a lengthy discussion about the seemingly accelerated effect that technology has on business and life in general.  Before dismissing this as “duh,” (for lack of a better term)…[re]consider a few specific words I included in this otherwise over-generalized statement:

“…accelerated effect that technology has on business.”

This, in my mind, presents a dynamite topic of discussion, and after sharing my thoughts with a handful of clients, prospective clients, and colleagues…, I’ve realized that others recognize this topic’s relevancy, regardless of their independent opinions on subject.

These recent conversations have brought new depth to the issue…  Some folks agree with my original thesis, others do not.  Out of those who do agree, not all of them like these changes.  Of those who do not like the effect of new technology on business, some believe that the problems created can and will be fixed in time with further innovation.  And so on…and so forth.

My point:

 I’d like to create an open, public forum for further discussion of the subject.  Welcome are all pertinent comments, questions/solutions, and other ideas. 

A client actually suggested that I open this “forum,” as a blog post, and I agreed…thankfully, he granted his permission to share pieces of our email/g-chat correspondence on the subject, so hopefully this will break the ice and get the public conversation started…

*A Big “Thank You” to Mike from Coconut Grove, Florida!*

Mike:

“Ok, so I think I get what you meant in the email, but bear with me so I can make sure I follow you.  By accelerated, I’m guessing that you mean that technology is affecting business more and more as time goes on?  For instance: technology is changing the game more in 2011 than it did in 2010…more in the 2000’s than in the ‘90’s?  I guess I see where you’re coming from, but is there anything we can put our finger on that explains this trend?  And if so…how can we use this information to our advantage –as players in the real estate industry or more specifically as property managers?”

Me:

“Mike, your interpretation of the “acceleration” that I’m referring to is right on.  I think of the trend as a snowball effect of sorts.  The [newest] technologies associated with our fast-paced lifestyle cling on to business practices, aiding those industries to move with greater speed and strength (force), collecting and binding an ever-increasing amount of new technologies.  So, effectively…the greater the current role of technology in respective industries, the faster that respective industries will continue to evolve.  It’s physics…I’m just not exactly Einstein, so please forgive my over-simplified explanation!”

Mike:

“Ok, Mr. Mann –I’m no Isaac Newton…but I like your hypothesis!  What do you think causes this “acceleration?”  I mean, what are the variables or inputs or criteria…or whatever that sets all of this in motion..?”

Me:

“Dang.  I thought you’d just nod and smile…not ask that I actually back this theory up!

Well, actually, I was just thinking about that, and this is what I think stimulates this proposed “acceleration” of technology and its effect on business:

  1. Availability of [good/correct] information
  2. Communication/Collaboration of this info
  3. Demand for innovation
  4. Efficiency increased as result of implementation

So, let’s apply this to something that is familiar with most folks, high-tech cell phones (e.g. iPhone, BlackBerry…).  Think about these devices (for both personal and business use) and the updates between new models.  Does it not seem that every new version or model has more and more “apps” and other innovations?  Every successful/popular piece of technology (or innovation) from the previous model seems to be expounded upon PLUS new features, or “apps,” are added (often in greater numbers than were added at the time of the previous release/model).

This pattern can be traced across most industries and product lines…across various fields…produced for various purposes.  And the momentum is not just gained vertically, but is distributed across corporate divides.

Information about the progress of others is more readily available than ever, and the scope of available industry info is ever-expanding…whether this is due to cooperation or copycat.  Those who fail to adjust lose efficiency, desirability, and thus profitability…and ultimately become eliminated.”

Here’s an interesting article with some additional insight into this topic…

http://www.avanade.com/Documents/Research%20and%20Insights/Collaboration-The%20Business%20Value%20POV-Template%20%20FINAL.pdf

What are your thoughts?  I think it’s fairly understood that this is the case, but how it happens, who it affects, and the rate at which it affects, compounds over time.  Has this brought you to adopt or consider adopting new technology into your business?

 

- Davis Mann -

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