Meeting shifting demands and expectations requires that organisations align their technology use with their business strategy, but technological change is an ongoing feature of modern business life that requires constant attention.
Aligning technology investment and organisational strategy
It is a given that an organisation’s technology investments should align with its strategy, but is complete alignment between technology and strategy unrealistic?
For example, technology decisions and rollouts are traditionally management-centric, which risks mismatches with the motivations and experiences of other departments or business units and access to insights into ideas more closely linked with emerging external-market needs.
Another development is that tech-powered capabilities are displaying more choice and behaving more independently than ever before. AI can increasingly be integrated with the cloud, helping make automated processes and workflows faster and more real for organisations. Keeping a view of where and how these transformations are taking place is essential.
Privacy legislation is changing
Balancing the tight rope between information that can be openly available and that which must be kept private requires thorough knowledge of New Zealand privacy laws – which are in the process of changing. New laws require new obligations and compliance for organisations dealing with personal data.
The expanding amount of easily accessible corporate and consumer information comes with a hefty legal risk. New privacy laws in place dictate that organisations have to be very careful with personal data and disclose what they will do with it.
Significantly, the New Zealand Privacy Act 2020 restricts the transfer of personal information overseas unless the individual’s express consent is gained or specific requirements are met. For example, the overseas organisation must now be subject to safeguards comparable to the New Zealand Privacy Act. In New Zealand, all organisations must alert the Privacy Commissioner when there has been a privacy breach.
While the Consumer Data Right law has not yet been passed in New Zealand, it will come into action in 2022 – intended to improve consumers’ ability to compare and change between products and services. Laws such as these are evolving favouring consumer rights to more visibility from organisations and consumers to maintain ownership of their data.
Evolving privacy laws speak to significant technology changes that will require new platform functions, such as highly available databases and geographical replication, to store data safely.
The use of data derived or enhanced by algorithms and AI is still under debate concerning legislative changes.
Organisations will need to disclose more information about products and services to transaction histories and account information.
Transformational and change management plans are an essential part of today’s organisations. It’s not enough to launch or add on a new technology ad hoc. Technologies ideally align with a strong workplace culture that’s committed to people, meeting evolving diversity expectations to do so effectively. If handled in the wrong way, technology changes risk the loss of valuable team members.
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Building a technology plan should also factor in – and feed into – the organisation’s diversity and inclusion approach. While technological investments make organisational decisions more quantifiable, effectiveness only can be determined for each unique organisational context.
Optimising technology currency
Meanwhile, technology developments, upgrades and automation are becoming more instantaneous and more in the background.
Shifting systems onto the cloud can essentially eliminate up-front investment. Metrics become more trackable and technology-use able to be scaled to need. With the move to the public cloud, organisations don’t need to rely on their internal systems and applications, making them run on any browser and access the necessary people.
What matters with technology is not so much that everyone has access to it, whether it meets legislative rules, whether staff will use it, and how an organisation can understand its value. As with any business decision, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. How you use technology must always mirror your business needs.
For more on this topic, please read “People Talent Never Comes Second With a Strategic Cloud Transition” and “What Employees Want From the Hybrid Workplace“.