Gilles Muys, vice president of customer solutions at Simplus, shares his top tips for companies to keep up with the ever-changing tech industry.
Everyone wants to get into tech these days—and it’s not hard to see why. In 2018 alone, the technology sector hit a record high of 3.2 trillion US dollars. With smart homes, smart TVs, and even smart cars, it seems pretty clear that technology is here to stay. But how do you come up with the next tech hit without missing the mark or raising your costs?
Gilles Muys, vice president of customer solutions at Simplus, isolated the three most important things your company can do to build better tech: build an adaptive tech team; incorporate natural, complementary software into your business model; and adopt an iterative strategy to develop your new technology.
1. Pick team members that will count.
Tech teams are usually comprised of individuals who have demonstrated tech prowess in the past. However, when thinking toward the future, keep in mind that the world is embracing new technology at an exponential rate, which can quickly make your experts’ training obsolete. Instead of picking experts with hard skills—such as a particular programming language or systems—pick team members who have experience thinking analytically and adapting to the latest technologies.
Much of computer programming, data science, and machine learning revolves around logic and analytical thinking. In fact, technology continually develops to be more logical and more analytically-based. Having an analytical mindset will prepare your team members to find faster, more effective ways to solve problems—which is why we turn to technology in the first place.
These days, the most prevalent technology is the cloud—in 2018, roughly 96 percent of organizations were using cloud computing in some form. But just ten years ago, the Cloud didn’t exist. It was the Internet. Like its name, the Internet is expanding faster than ever before, and you will need tech experts that can keep up. “Cloud technologies are fast-growing and becoming pervasive among many (if not all) industries,” says Gilles Muys. “A strong cloud-based skillset is critical.”
Picking team members who can think analytically and adapt to new technologies will equip your technology department with not only the skills but also the mindset and vision to tackle the next big project.
2. Choose natural, complementary software services.
However, designing tech isn’t a tech-free process. The 2019 Project Management Institute Survey concluded that 93 percent of companies use some sort of standardized project management system, and many use software to do it. But even beyond project management, outside software can offer companies a great way to expedite data collection and customer relationship management. However, if you’re not careful, these external tools can load your company with additional costs and steps that can actually burden your production model.
When looking for outside software to boost your company’s performance, Muys says companies should “consider how complementary the vendor’s skillsets are to their own in-house resources.” If your business currently uses Facebook data to guide its marketing decisions, pick a data processing company that is compatible with Facebook data. That way, your company receives the benefit of data processing without needing to incorporate (and pay for) additional data collection software.
Likewise, your company can keep design costs low when your outsourced software needs are kept natural and complementary to your existing resources.
3. Adopt an iterative strategy.
Lastly, it can be difficult to tell if a new technology will take off. Before putting millions of dollars into a product that may never sell, it is essential to run pilot tests. Piloting allows a company to test the market with a small-scale version of its tech product. This helps to gauge the interest and potential profitability of their product design before investing too much time and effort.
This strategy doesn’t only apply to product design. Companies can use iterations to continually build on and improve technology solutions a little bit at a time. “The main benefit to this is to validate the solution with the stakeholders in order to take corrective actions as early as possible, therefore avoiding potentially costly rework,” explains Muys. If an update ends up causing more frustration than excitement, companies can easily revise for the next iteration without needing to scrap the whole product.
In his own work, Muys has found these principles to be instrumental in guiding Simplus’ innovative product design. Ultimately, equipping your tech department with adaptable team members, complementary and low-cost software, and iterative strategy helps it keep up with the tech industry’s quick changes and exciting developments.
Keep these tips in mind to design tomorrow’s tech hit today.