There is a lag of time between when a new technology exists and when it becomes commercially applied. In 1997, Wal-Mart was approached to implement an automatic-cart collector system that relied on magnets to automatically sort shopping carts and reload them into the store. Wal-Mart executives declined, as the technology was rudimentary and would be subject to significant maintenance overhauls with no guarantees that the operating system wouldn’t have to be regularly overhauled.
When a business contemplates adding a new technology, it must address whether the need is permanent (i.e. why invest in a technology system if the problem wouldn’t exist three months from now?). And if the need is permanent, there needs to be some assurance that the new technology will address the problem on an ongoing basis.
The answer to the first question is the easy part of the analysis. Most technologies for sale are directed at problems … Read the rest of this article!