How organizations leverage new technology often defines their ability to compete – especially in an increasingly digital economy. When organizations get it right, strategically selecting, deploying, and adopting new technology can be a true differentiator.

As this Inc. article discusses, it’s time for more companies to become “fast changers” rather than late adopters. Fast changers “analyze a new trend for the value first; don’t be confused by whether it is new and untested. Be quick to adopt and quick to abandon the trend when you see it doesn’t offer any benefits or an advantage for your company. Terrible products and services reveal themselves quickly. Adopting early should also mean abandoning early. Yet, if the tech trend is worth an investment, after doing your analysis and comparisons, be ready to dive right in. Embrace it fully.”

Of course, having a solid selection strategy is a must, and the strategic use of video conferencing can prove instrumental.

Four Ways Video Conferencing Can Help Your Organization Become a “Fast Changer”:  

  • Utilizing a virtual advisory board. With a virtual advisory board in place, the organization can leverage video conferencing to engage with other departments, business units, and outside partners when appropriate to discuss the potential value of new technology. The key aspect of building an advisory board is to include a diverse cross section of professionals capable of adding differing perspectives and willing to openly share experiences. Video collaboration not only supports that diversity, but makes it possible to meet more frequently to discuss emerging technologies, without the cost and time of travel.
  • Streamlining the training process. In order to give new technology a fair evaluation, it needs to get a legitimate trial within the organization. Video conferencing can play a key role in training users, which is crucial in encouraging early and rapid adoption. The quicker team members understand how to use the new tools, the faster they will become a part of their regular routine. Much like having diversity in the advisory board, it’s important to pilot new technology with internal customers in each potentially impacted business unit. As technology adoption transitions from a piloting stage to an enterprise wide deployment, pilot participants become ambassadors, sharing personal experiences and facilitating quick adoption on a broader scale.
  • Checking environmental pulse. Part of what makes the fast changer concept different from other tech adoption processes is the willingness to quickly abandon adoptions when they fail to live up to expectations. This only works when IT has a clear sense of how people actually feel about the new tools. Video conferencing helps IT garner more from these candid conversations. For instance, when a pilot participant says the deployment is “going good” on a conference call, you might take it at face value. However, being able to see them dodging eye contact, presents an opportunity to dig further and find out what’s really going on. This is where the value measurement should really come to light. Face-to-face collaboration allows you to push beyond “it’s easy to use” to what each participant is really gaining from the technology or if they find the technology overwhelming.
  • Creating a community. While being part of a success is inherently rewarding, it’s important to remember the entire selection, piloting and adoption process is time often time-consuming. And it’s added responsibility for people already tasked with responsibilities core to organizational operations. As such, it’s important to create a sense of community, complete with rewards and recognition for proposing and trialing new tech. When fast changers don’t work from the same office space, building a community over text or voice-only communications is nearly impossible. Literally seeing eye-to-eye – over video conferencing when you can’t sit across the table – is what creates the trust and comradery necessary to be innovative.

Bottom line:  Being innovative as an organization needs to go beyond the products and services you sell to customers. The technologies you leverage internally to remain efficient are equally as important, especially in today’s digital marketplace. Embracing the fast changer approach– piloting new tech, adopting what works, quickly abandoning what doesn’t – rather than waiting to see what your competition will use to get ahead of you lays the foundation for success. And, video conferencing can prove instrumental in helping you fine-tune your “fast changer” strategy.