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How to reap the benefits from new technology

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How to reap the benefits from new technology

In today’s society, new technology is developed and released at a rapid pace. However, as increasingly innovative and intelligent solutions are released, there’s often a split reaction between the digital innovators who want to be the first to implement them and those who hold back, preferring more traditional methods.

This stalemate has been present throughout history — and shows no signs of shifting, even as society becomes more technologically dependent.

Providing an overview of this stalemate and why we need to change our approach to new technology is electric motor repairs specialist Houghton International:

The introduction of electricity as a commodity

None of the technology we now take for granted would have been possible without the advent of electricity, one of history’s most important technological milestones.

In 1881, Thomas Edison built stations that could generate electricity in Manhattan and London. 12 months later and electricity was available as a commodity, changing industry forever.

Factories at the time depended on steam power and featured large, cumbersome and potentially dangerous machinery. Once electricity was made available, this could all change — but it didn’t.

Despite the availability of electricity, less than 5% of factories in 1900 made use of electric motors. Many preferred to rely on steam power as they were uncomfortable with the level of change brought about by the introduction of electric motors. It would trigger a change in thinking that many simply didn’t want to consider.

For factory owners, the scale of the change and disruption that would be caused outweighed the associated benefits of incorporating electric motors. Production could take place following logic, rather than the direction of the driveshaft. Factories became safer and cleaner too, while the staff themselves began to set the pace.

To replace an engine with a motor, the entire infrastructure of a factory had to change — it wasn’t a simple switch. And with time, it did — as change always does. By the 1920s, manufacturing productivity had increased significantly, as factory owners increasingly implemented electric motors.

As this example and the 40 years between the commoditisation of electricity to its widespread implementation shows, new technology doesn’t always lead to instant results. Rather, we can only reap the benefits when we fully understand how best to use it.

The issue today

Fast-forward to today and the technological vs traditional battle rumbles on. Take electric motors themselves for example. While they have been fully adopted into many applications, business owners are still facing decisions on whether to upgrade their model to one that promises further efficiencies.

Industry 4.0 is working to further widen the gap between those who embrace and postpone change. Dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0 is transforming industries through automation and real-time data. One example of this is condition monitoring, the process of using technology to monitor the state of machinery to detect significant change and therefore problems.

Part of predictive maintenance, condition monitoring describes various techniques, including vibration and lubricant analysis, and acoustic emissions. For those who have enabled Industry 4.0 already, they are already at an advantage, as they are able to anticipate when maintenance work will be required, in turn reducing the impact unplanned downtime can have. Those who are unaware of the potential of Industry 4.0 are unable to access this level of insight, putting them at an automatic disadvantage.

How can I benefit from newly released technology

Each day that passes, yet more technology is being made available, driving society and businesses forward. So what advice can businesses benefit from?

Ask yourself how any technological investment will fit within your current operations and outline the benefits it will bring. Consider the amount of work that is required for implementation and whether this and the associated costs are justified by what you’ll gain. If in doubt, enlist the help of a professional to advise you on the right solution.

Today, technology is key to how businesses across every sector operate. Shying away from digital advancements is no longer an option; choose to be an innovator or delay the implementation of these new developments. Either way, change is happening now — and you can’t afford to stand still.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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