Contrasts in Technology Uptake

The BBC recently wrote about the NHS’s troubled relationship with technology (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21044514) which made us think about the vast contrast between organisations which use technology to the max and those which appear to be stuck in the past.

It is astonishing to think how much we rely on technology to go about our everyday lives. So much can now be done either online or using technology of some kind; from doing the weekly shop to managing our bank account. So when we experience more traditional ways of doing things it often takes us by surprise.

For example, does your optician or dentist still write down your notes on a card and keep this in a drawer or filing cabinet? Then next time you go for a check up they try to read the handwriting, scribbles and crossed out notes that they have previously written.

So why do these operational processes still exist in a world where retail assistants walk around with ipads ready to show you more information, and courier companies text you with the precise time that your parcel will arrive?

This may well have come from a push to use technology by the private sector, who have identified that they need to keep up with new developments in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Public services do not have to compete for business and so may not be as inspired to utilise technology.

But what about internal operations and efficiency savings; technology isn’t used solely to attract and maintain customers, but also to provide a better service, reduce costs and become more productive.

Perhaps therefore there is still a lack of knowledge in certain industries about how it can benefit them and how to use it effectively in order to gain these advantages? Is a change of attitude and culture required in order to help organisations make the best use of technology? Or will certain industries simply never have the requirement to be as digital as others?