In a World of Managing Risk, Do You Have Shiny Tech Syndrome?
There is always something new on the horizon when it comes to technology. Isn’t it human nature to want to wait for the next 'new' model car, the next 'bigger' TV or the next 'faster' smart phone?
The newest release might be more appealing – especially to higher-ups, who want the latest and greatest trending technology. But there are hidden risks associated with waiting to implement a new tool or solution.
To help your organization quickly resource needed solutions to current problems and avoid poor product fit, it’s important to know the risks of waiting for a newly released technology versus immediately implementing an existing tool that already fulfills your requirements.
Same problems, “new” product?
Let’s take Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions as an example. There are several known UEM solutions that have been on the market for many years, yet there are new UEM-related products releasing constantly.
The only way to know if you should wait for a new UEM product instead of opting for a proven solution is by truly narrowing down why your organization needed a UEM solution to its problems in the first place.
The importance of enabling anywhere operations has placed an increased importance on a comprehensive UEM solution.
Despite top tier analysts such as Gartner and Forrester viewing UEM solution as a mature market with limited growth opportunities, there has been significant growth in use cases supporting remote, hybrid and frontline workforce in recent years. It is critical for organizations to find a UEM solution that can support those use cases and also deliver differentiated capabilities.
Remote working also has fueled challenges in managing and securing endpoints. Top threats when securing a hybrid, remote or from home workforce include cyberattacks, human error, cloud computing vulnerabilities and mobile device security.
58% of CISOs have seen more targeted attacks since enabling widespread remote working. IT teams now find themselves burdened with managing and securing ever growing endpoints against phishing attacks and cyber threats.
The remote and hybrid shift requires a new security approach. Organizations need to protect remote workers from skyrocketing phishing attempts and provide personalized and productive digital experience with them. IT needs a combined tool to perform and automate endpoint management and security tasks that provides a 360˚ view of their environment.
In many situations, already established UEM solutions solve most of – if not all – of these issues.
Ultimately, for UEM or any other technology, organizations would be better served to go with a new, unvetted product only if they cannot resolve the problems with a known and proven quantity.
Additional hidden risks of new products: quality, opportunity cost, price bundling and implementation woes
New products offer unknown quality – even from known vendors
The potential for the new solution to not be as good as the original tool is perhaps the most significant risk to consider. Even if the new solution comes from a known and trusted vendor, whether a newly announced product will actually improve upon what is already available is impossible to tell by the announcement alone.
Your organization’s processes and implementations become a de facto test environment for the vendor, as the new product sorts out its flaws and issues in real-time. After all, it is often only after a new solution has been implemented that its shortcomings become apparent.
This scenario easily leads to frustration with wasted time and resources if organizations discover that they installed an inferior product when they already knew about the better solution from the start.
Delaying for new products decreases overall return on investment due to opportunity cost
Another risk to consider is the potential for a lower return on investment (ROI) when waiting for a newly announced technology solution. After all – based on the exercise we ran through with the UEM use case above – there were strategic operational reasons why you were seeking out this technology in the first place.
Therefore, if organizations wait too long to implement any solution, then they will continue to suffer through the problems that were pressing enough to require a budgeted investment in an external solution.
Just how long will your organization be willing to wait for a new, “better” solution when there’s an answer to the internal friction and struggles that already exists?
New products from established vendors may be bundled with less-desired solutions for a higher price tag
There’s not just opportunity cost to consider, but possibly a higher realized price tag, as well. In some cases, organizations may also have to pay more for a newly released product – as the provider works out their pricing strategy and bundling options – than they would have if they had implemented an existing tool.
If the vendor sees the newer product as an “add on” for an existing technology suite, then they may succumb to the temptation of bundling together all of their related technologies into one.
Even if your organization only requires – and waits for – the one solution, then it may be stuck paying for tools and features it doesn’t need because the vendor requires the purchase of all related products to obtain the one product you really wanted in the first place.
New products introduce unknown variables within critical business environments
New products are, by their very nature, new. There are no known best practice guides for implementation or use; no references to consult for advice; no identified problem areas to avoid.
In use cases and situations where technology forms the backbone of an entire organization’s operations, any unknown variable creates the greatest possible risk for headaches (at best) and failure (at worst). The reward of a new product must be extreme, to outweigh such substantial risks.
In general, organizations should avoid waiting for the shiny technology solution that addresses all their needs; perfect rarely, if ever, exists. Carefully consider the costs – known and unknown – of waiting for that shiny new product that promises the world, especially when you already have vetted a solution that satisfies your organization’s current friction points.