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Intelligent Technology Is in the Eye of the Beholder

8 Jun 2015 by Mike Gaumond

Using the term “intelligent technology” is a refreshing way to look at what we’re doing when we offer products and services to create unique solutions. The reality is that our clients have been asking for intelligent technology all along.

Whether the ask is to find ways to make it easier for a stylist in a hair salon to perform his or her job, or to help scientists spend more time discovering cures for diseases, clients ultimately associate intelligence with the ability to make their organizations run smarter. This is not a onetime goal — it’s an ongoing process. For clients, intelligent technology is as much about the process as it is about their individual solutions that help their businesses, schools and cities evolve.

In practically every industry, disruption is now the norm. Clients expect continuous improvement. They must when the fundamentals of how they compete are changing at an unheralded pace. Every day, they are challenged with how to be great in the present and even better in the future.

When I work with clients, I’m always thinking, “Are we really helping them employ technology in ways that will grow their revenue, further the launch of a new product or enter a new market? How is technology impacting their business?”

These are the questions businesses are asking themselves, so it’s imperative for us to walk in their proverbial shoes. The truth is this is just a baseline. Businesses deserve more from their service providers and their technology. We’re great at understanding business objectives — we, too, are a business with all the trappings that entails. The value we can bring — the Insight, if you’ll excuse the obvious pun — is helping businesses derive intelligence from their technology. Is technology helping their businesses run smarter?

To attain that type of performance, you have to think like a client and ask some basic questions:

“Are my technology investments helping to …“

  • Gain better perspective into how customers make decisions?
  • Predict where the market is heading?
  • Understand product performance variances across customer segments and sales channels?

Getting to a more intelligent way of doing things is less about how smart a given technology is; it’s more about if we’re using technology to create business results, manage more effectively and gather knowledge.

To me, intelligent technology begins with an objective that is often not technical at all. It could be as simple as helping serve meals to customers more quickly through a drive-thru lane or as complex as building technology infrastructure that can float out to sea on a cruise ship — support hundreds of Instagram uploads — and bring everyone safely back to dry land.  Whatever the objective, truly intelligent technology will ultimately be overshadowed by the business outcomes — and the ability to weather looming disruption.