Convergence: When two or more distinct things come together.
Technology is now so central to our lives, we only think about it with any real sincerity when it’s not working or we lack connectivity. To borrow an idea from Abraham Maslow, might we say that technology has now become a deficiency need? Meaning, technology is not necessarily a motivator once we have it, but when a cell phone ends up in a puddle of water or your company servers are down, it’s all we can think about until things are up and running again.
But the more this dependency makes life easier, it also creates challenges in other ways through the nature of consequences. For example, now that we have a mobile phone with music, we require head phones so we are able to listen to the music in a public environment. Or, if we need to access a training video, we search for a wireless internet connection so we can save on paying fees for data overages. (I know… right?)
Focus on Improvement
So along came Technology Convergence as a competitive and often disruptive force, where devices and software can reduce user stress, clutter and technological waste – material and financial. This is a nice convenience as a consumer, but seeking and establishing convergence in the industrial world, must go beyond mere convenience. We must be able to find ways to establish a competitive advantage, otherwise we just end up with another shiny new toy.
When convergence has been achieved in the form of a device or service, it should improve a company’s capabilities with a correlating measurable business result. Below are three key categories for improvement to look for, if you are in the process of building or editing your criteria for new investments in converging technologies.
1. Competitive differentiation
- Superior customer service
- Improved employee engagement
2. Reduce IT support investment
- A single pane of glass for vendor management
- Reduced device clutter and maintenance
3. Increase Business Technology ROI
- Simpler KPI’s with higher levels of achievement
- More and consistent innovation