The 5G era will be a huge boon to many businesses, but it will also heighten the contrast between forward-looking organizations and those stuck in the past, dealing with obsolete legacy systems and outdated processes. In a survey of 100 IT leaders, Macro 4 found that 39 percent were reluctant to part with their legacy applications, even though 87 percent acknowledged the security risks posed by the outdated technology.
Part of the hesitation stems from the cost of upgrading, but it will only get worse. The more outdated a system has become, the more expensive it will be to bring it into modernity with a digital transformation, but delaying can be equally costly. In organizations powered by obsolete systems, employees are forced to spend hours every day working with ineffective tools that make their lives more difficult than necessary. When those workers become fed up and leave, a company is forced to train new employees on broken software.
Clearly, it’s time for antiquated technology to go the way of the dinosaurs and make room for elegant solutions that meet the needs of end users, are easy to understand, and provide a powerful return on innovation for business stakeholders. Elegant solutions require fewer steps to solve a problem, and they create a more agile environment where teams can adapt quickly to changes. This environment has the added benefit of encouraging intrapreneurship, in which employees think outside the box and deliver innovative solutions.
To realize the benefits of elegant solutions, organizations must take a specific approach to problem-solving. Instead of spotting an issue and hastily cobbling together a solution, pace yourself and follow these three steps.
1. Peel the onion
Solving any problem will take time, money and energy, so before you get too deep, you’ll want to make sure you’re solving the right one. Getting to the heart of a problem requires peeling back the layers of the onion. Instead of rushing in to find a solution, taking a step back might reveal how the problem can easily be avoided by making a minor process change a few steps before.
2. Reach out and empathize
Elegant solutions require empathy and outreach. Interviewing users is a critical part of the process, but it can only get you so far. To truly produce a groundbreaking solution, you need to immerse yourself in the routines of the audience and determine what pain points they experience daily. Then decide how you’ll eliminate this friction.
3. Break it till you make it
Before you roll out a plan to an entire team, take the time necessary to pilot your solution. Test it until something breaks, then fix it and roll out an elegant version that’s been proven. Planning can only get you so far, and eventually, you must turn to iteration. Put your solution in the hands of its intended users, see how it performs, and revise as necessary.
Houston is fortunate to be one of just four cities chosen to lead the procession into a 5G future. While this is great news for technologically progressive organizations, it puts additional pressure on those falling behind. To keep up, they’ll need to ditch obsolete systems and look to elegant solutions to carry them into the future.
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