Digital Transformation: Does Technology Follow Need, or Need Follows Technology?
Posted by mphgroup on September 3rd, 2020
If you’ve been wondering about this “Chicken vs Egg” Paradox on Digital Transformation, then this is the article you should read.
We often see that technology and human needs follow each other.
Sometimes, it appears as if technology follows a genuine need for something, or that a new product or technological development happens because it aims to solve a problem the market is having.
On another note, sometimes the opposite seems probable as well, and new technologies and products seem to entice people to have new needs alltogether.
This is the type of paradox we plan to approach on today’s article, so if that is your cup of tea, read below for more info.
We can tell you beforehand that we reached a conclusion, and the paradox isn’t as hard to solve as it may initially seem, thanks to those who came before, like Mazlow and Henry Ford – the Humanities Scholar and Business Tycoon respectivelly.
Leave others behind, or be left by yourself:
One of the first things to be discussed is the fact that you and your competitors mirror this paradox, but on the opposite side.
If you don’t leave your competitors behind and adopt a strong digital transformation strategy, you’re the one who is going to have to cover more ground to reach them.
This is true because apathy is death in business, and one should constantly modernize and adapt to the times, unless you want to be like all the oil tycoons when oil lamps started to be replaced by electrical bulbs.
Having said that, this doesn’t answer the paradox, so let’s continue to the argument below.
The need to provide more solutions is real:
One can argue that there is no product out there that doesn’t appear because there is an inherent need for it.
Consider the Maslow Pyramid and the needs contained within. Virtually every need can be contained in that pyramid, and even future needs will probably fit somewhere there.
On the other hand, one can also argue that there is no inherent need contained in the Maslow Pyramid that justifies buying shirts for dogs, but is that really true?
No matter the philosophy involved, one thing is for sure, needs and solutions work hand in hand and they have been feeding technological advancements since humanity exists, or probably even earlier.
No one can dodge the fact that no matter the order, more solutions is the real necessity here, because only by playing with a full deck can we win the game.
Choices are key for adaptation, both in business and out of it.
Can small businesses avoid the many pitfalls of digital transformation?
So, can small businesses survive the trial that is a digital transformation strategy?
Well, the answer is not only affirmative, but we’d go even as far as suggesting that small companies even have some advantages that may make transition run much smoother.
Take scale for example.
Scale takes some versatility away from companies, and not only does it make it harder for businesses to adapt it also means the costs are substantially larger.
On the other hand, more people working on a company means more minds to adapt and more training in the end of the day.
Small businesses have less staff, and so that means transition can go smoother. One man companies only have the owner to change in terms of mindset, and since he is the only one who can technologically evolve his company, that’s a given.
Does technology follow need? Does need follow technology?
So if we’re going to conclude that technology follows need, we must analyze the sentence made popular by Henry Ford:
“- If I would’ve people what they wanted, they would have answered faster horses”.
This is what he said about his invention, the car.
Well, he is right in saying that people didn’t know they needed a car, but analyzing the sentence we can also conclude that they indeed knew they needed to travel faster.
To us, this is an example that even if you don’t know you need the product, or technology, you know you need your problem solved (in this case, speed of travel).
This means that the only possible conclusion is that Technology follows need.
Can the same case be made on the opposite direction? Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on the way you think about it, we can’t find a solid example of this happening without going up to the previous example and to the Pyramid of Mazlow, so it seems that technology follows need, not the other way around.
If you were hoping for an inconclusive piece, then this isn’t it, we found out how to solve the paradox, at least we hope we did. Be sure to let us know if you think need can sometimes follow technology, but be also sure to apply the example we’ve stated before to see if it debunks it or not.Also See: Digital Transformation, Technology Follows, Small Businesses, Transformation Strategy, Technology, Paradox, Transformation
Photography Masterclass - Learn Digital Photography The Smart Way
Master Any DSLR Camera And Take Gorgeous, Attention-Grabbing Photos By Following Step-By-Step Video Tutorials!