Welcome to Change.
Change, one of the most overused words in the business. However, a decade ago the scenario was totally opposite. Customers and general users were reluctant to change. Once the product was proven, customer loyalty was assured. Customer’s would stick with the product unless there was a proven defect. There was an aversion for change.
Over the period, CHANGE became inevitable. Businesses were driven by competition to embrace change. A revamp of old mindsets was performed and open minds were brought in to inculcate a culture of change. The natural human law of inertia had to be confronted by management. The maximum impact of this thought process was seen in the IT(Technology) space.
Now to the present: A week ago, I was having a casual discussion on the mobile apps with my Techie Partner – Spouse. She was saying, ‘facebook is just so boring. WhatsApp is easy and we can always be in touch with the friends. Easy to use. I no more use facebook’. I was shell shocked. Reason: A couple of months ago, Facebook was all she was into in her mobile. Every time it was about: check-in, update, post, likes etc. Then, to her that in 2 months facebook as outdated was a real shock. It made me contemplate on the user behavior. It just seemed that users are getting hungry for change. Change was cool and anything older than a few months faced the prospect of extinction. Consumers had been fed so much change that now, they started to hate the constant. Greed for change has become part of our DNA.
In the enterprise IT space, it is evident that customers are looking for everything on mobile. The inhibition to open the firewall for internet access has given way to hosting the complete infrastructure outside the premises i.e. on internet based cloud. The typical SAP GUIs have given way to sleek UI5 screens. WD Java and WD ABAP screens being phased out is not far way. Its happening at a frenetic pace and the fear is will it spiral out of control.
As a technical consultant, I an loving this change. But, as a business consultant, its bringing in a whole new set of problems. The main challenge is the skill set. The existing consultants are having to leave their comfort space and move onto newer areas. Availability of experienced consultants seems a thing of past as technology is itself becoming a thing of past. Experienced consultants are having to complete with fresh members. In this time of low business, the management is actually evaluating the need to highly skilled and experienced consultants when the task can be performed by the less experienced consultants who have/can work on the newest technology. Pink slips for experienced consultants is getting to be the best way to ensure the profit margins without losing the customer base.
Well, how do we handle this situation?
As I see, the change is more superficial. The fundamental purpose/requirement is still the same. It is “How to communicate and share information?”. Whether it is facebook or WhatsApp it is fundamentally to allow people to connect with each other. SAP GUI of UI5 is all about accessing enterprise data. So, the focus should be on improving the user experience rather than perceiving it as change in technology. It is change but only in the process, not the purpose.
Experienced consultants are still valuable to an organization. However, the consultants should avoid sticking to their tried and tested formula. They have to look at user requirements more deeply. We need to differentiate the fundamental requirement from the superficial one.
The change is permanent but on top of the constant base.
Please share your views and lets embrace change, rather than fear it.