Why Aren’t We Seeing New Technologies Deliver Business Performance Breakthroughs?

There’s an important dynamic happening with new technologies. Cloud, analytics, cognitive computing, and robotic process automation (RPA) are available to businesses today, but they’re only creating modest, incremental gains. Why aren’t these technologies creating a bigger difference in businesses?

Take cloud for example. We’re way past the point of discussing whether or not to move to cloud computing. We understand the power of cloud and know it can really help transform the relationship of IT to the business. It’s quicker. It’s more agile. It helps better align IT with the business. Cloud is consumption based, so the total cost is cheaper. It comes prepackaged with PaaS, middleware, and databases, so it’s easier. Given all these advantages, why aren’t we seeing a fundamental change in performance in the relationship between IT and the business?

It’s not just cloud; there are other examples. Given the power of Amelia (IPsoft’s cognitive agent) and RPA, why aren’t we seeing a fundamental change in the call center businesses with customer service? Given the capability of cognitive computing evident in IBM’s Watson, why aren’t we seeing dramatic change in the field of medicine? And with the insights available through analytics, why does it still take a month to get approved for a mortgage? Analytics are incredibly powerful in helping businesses understand customers, so why isn’t it showing up in the bottom line in a big way?

These disruptive technologies have been tested and vetted; we know they work and are incredibly powerful. So why aren’t they creating the impact that they promise? When implemented, they do make contributions, but for the most part they’re margininal and achieve only incremental benefits. Case in point: cloud technologies. Yes, cloud technologies have dropped the cost of IT infrastructure, and we can get new apps up faster. But IT departments remain, and business users are still frustrated with them. The basic relationship between enterprise IT and the business is unchanged.

All of these technologies are ripe for a performance breakthrough, a step change. By this I don’t mean a 10 or 20 percent reduction in cost; I mean a fundamental change in performance. A change in the cycle time it takes to find a candidate and get a new recruit in. A change from a month to just a day, or even an hour, for mortgage approval. We should be seeing dramatic fundamental change in the customer experience, cycle time, supply chain –- in fact, at every level.

Why are we stuck in this world of hype instead of reality? Where the promise of a technology clearly can be delivered, why aren’t businesses getting the powerful benefits? That’s the question that we at Everest Group are dedicating ourselves to solve.

Clayton Christensen, HBS Professor & Disruptive Innovation Expert, essentially says it’s because all these disruptive technologies and capabilities cannot be integrated. They are too disruptive for large organizations to use to create a difference, and the only way to use them is to start a new company.

But we disagree. We know from experience that large companies can create performance breakthroughs. At Everest Group we’re dedicating ourselves to helping organizations engage these technologies to deliver these benefits at every level.

Not only do these technologies and capabilities exist, but they have been tested and implemented, and ought to be driving a significant change in performance. For the most part, however, they’re failing to deliver on that promise. We think this is the issue of our time, and I’ll be blogging about this over the coming months.