Technology advancement is changing the way you evaluate software

For Christmas 2018 I received a Google Home device and quickly found myself besotted.  When the kids actually let me use it, I am finding an almost endless array of uses for it, from waking up in the morning, to listening to books and podcasts, to going to sleep at night.  Soon I will be getting sales updates and important notifications about the performance of my business through it. I even pack one in my bag now when I travel.

After my love-at-first-sight affair with my Home I came across the chart below from The Economist, showing the rate at which voice assistant technologies have been adopted in the US, which didn’t surprise me.  They have come from seemingly nowhere, to being adopted by over a quarter of the US population in under two years. Under two years!

Adoption rate of technology

 

The impact on your software buying decisions

When you are making a decision to implement new recruitment technology, you are making a decision to retain it for the next 5 years or more. Given the accelerating rate of development of new technologies, it is now guaranteed that entirely new technologies will be invented and become mainstream during the lifetime of your chosen system.

This is a mind-blowing fact, and something that is entirely new for software decision makers.  Never before have they had to think about how technologies that have not yet been invented will impact their businesses in under five years.

No one can predict the future

“No one can predict technologies that have not yet been invented, so why worry about it?” you might say.  While it is correct that you can’t spend too much time gazing into crystal balls, you can and should be thinking carefully about two things:

  1. How does your business adapt to inevitable change?
  2. How innovative and agile are your software partners?

Is your business comfortable adopting new systems and processes? Could you go paperless tomorrow and would people cope? Could you change email systems? Could you switch from Office to Google Apps without skipping a beat? How easy is it for you to move your physical office (something we’re in the midst of doing ourselves)?

If you are still holding onto a server-based version of Outlook, for example, because you are worried that some of your users won’t handle the change to Gmail or Office 365, then how will your business cope with making much larger changes?  

It’s more important than ever for companies to be able to smoothly and efficiently make changes. The more you practice change, the easier it becomes and the more people look forward to it. If your business is accustomed to regularly changing things up then you will be in a stronger position to adopt new technologies as and when they present competitive advantages for your business.

As Darwin once noted, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

Today’s features and functions are less important than ever before

Given the rates of change, evaluating a new software solution based on today’s feature and functions can be a big mistake. Software systems are now able to be updated in real time, with many vendors like JobAdder doing daily product updates and enhancements. It is far more important to understand how agile your potential software partners are, and how they view and implement new technologies. Do they have teams focused on innovation? Can they demonstrate new technologies they have implemented into their core platforms recently? What new technologies are they excited about and currently working on?  

If you are evaluating software for your business for the next 5+ years then it is absolutely critical that you are investing in partners who are able to guarantee to keep you ahead of the curve. You do not want to find yourself in a position where you are tethered to vendors who are not investing in new technologies. Unfortunately, in the recruitment tech space, some of the largest vendors are doing little to no innovation and development of their core platforms. They are focused solely on top-line growth because that’s what their Venture Capitalist/Private Equity owners demand. They leave innovation to their marketplace partners, creating an unsatisfactory result for customers who have to deal with a stack of different technology providers to get the job done. Such partners should be adding value to an already sound system rather than filling in the gaps.

When evaluating software providers be sure to look closely at what they have innovated recently and how quickly they integrate new technologies like video and voice when they become mainstream. Ask for proof and examples and don’t fall for broad statements about how many dollars are invested in Research & Development. Often the majority of this is supporting ancient code bases and not going to innovation at all.

With the rate of innovation and technology evolution currently underway this is an exciting time to be alive. Today is the best day to start thinking about how you position your business to deal with the rapid and regular changes that are approaching.

Brett Iredale

Brett Iredale

2019

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