Humans have always benefited from careful and appropriate integration of technology into their lives. Just as improvements to farming allow more and more of the population to engage in other productive enterprises, proper use of technological advancement can make a marked difference in the success of our enterprises. With proper technological integration, the effort and time needed to complete a task can decrease, causing a huge boost to productivity. However, there are certainly pitfalls to be avoided when looking to adopt any new technology. Taking the time to understand and plan ahead can ensure that you stay ahead of your competitors.
When we look at technological advancements, it is easy to forget the path that we have taken to get where we are. Returning to farm equipment, it is clear that a farmer using a tractor has a massive advantage over one using horses or other farm animals to plow. But modern farming equipment was not adopted overnight, and adopting a technology too early could mean a large investment for only a small or negligible increase in performance. In other words, just because something is new, or has the potential to help, it does not mean that it is worth adopting. Taking the time to fully understand the product, as well as how it will impact your workflow will help you to avoid costly mistakes.
With that said, we must also be aware that failure to innovate and use tools as they become available will cause us to stagnate. If a tool becomes available and we fail to use it, we give our competitors an opportunity to pass us in efficiency. So, we can cause ourselves problems both by being overeager to embrace change, and in being too resistant to it.
How do we walk this line carefully? The answer is, as with most other things, thought and planning. We cannot by ourselves be aware of every new advancement by ourselves, so it is important to have networks and people with whom we can talk. In this way, we can pool their knowledge with our own, greatly increasing our ability to learn of new things. That said, before making major decisions, ensure that you are doing them because you fully understand what your goals are, and why you think this will help you achieve them. Taking the time to fully understand something before you invest in it is the key in staying ahead, while reducing waste.