Innovation

New technology: bane or benefit?

Emerging technologies can be the stuff of science fiction, or they can have real business benefits. When is the right time to bring them into your organisation? ZDNet Australia investigates.

Emerging technologies can be the stuff of science fiction, or they can have real business benefits. When is the right time to bring them into your organisation?

Recent reports have found that enterprises have begun to look at the impact of introducing new technologies has on the business. The concept being that—if you look at the roles staff play and give them the right tools—they are better able to embrace new technologies.

Similarly, in an interview with ZDNet Australia last week, Carl Greiner, senior VP at industry analyst META Group, argued that controlling costs within the enterprise had led companies to taking a knee jerk approach to managing IT assets.

But what is it that really holds back the uptake of emerging technologies within enterprises?

Peter Lewis, global team leader of ICT at government trade agency Austrade, believes that organisations look to see if it's a proven technology, and whether there are other sites that are using it.

"Equally important is the ongoing service and maintenance," Lewis said. "If my software packs up now [I need to know] how long until I can get it fixed and where that person is."

He also believes it's a matter of looking at the value proposition of each technology, from a business perspective. Lewis said that you've got to ask the question 'what's the problem it's trying to solve'? and to get the company trying to sell it to you to demonstrate that it can achieve these goals.

Likewise, Stephen Arnold, CIO at professional services firm Ernst & Young, sees a combination of issues effecting the decision on whether to implement an emerging technology or not.

Business justification and budgetary restrictions are among the considerations he lists. "There's no need to install something there's no business justification for," Arnold said. "The next issue is how well it would sit with existing technologies in place."

Ongoing training support for the IT staff is something else businesses need to consider, Arnold believes.

He agrees that there's less of a trend to rush out and try the latest and greatest than there was a couple of years ago. "There's a tendency to try and get more value out of what you have," Arnold said. "There needs to be a balance between business demands and awareness of new technologies."

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