At a macro level, the tech industry is having a great year. The gigantic tech companies are recording very high earnings, revenues, and market valuations. Startups in countries like China and the US are also growing tremendously as they go public. This shows that tech companies are enjoying the business landscape, as we see a rise of edge computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), advanced data analytics, and machine learning.
On the other side, we are also seeing a rise in the disruptive potential and risks of technology which is surpassing the ability of the industry to manage them. Regulators, government leaders, customers, the media, and investors are holding tech companies liable for the failure or disruptions the products bring. For instance, the European’s Union’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has begun governing the use of private data as of May this year.
There are lots of companies that are not prepared in managing these kinds of risks. The industry must develop comprehensive strategies that cover the long-term risks that not only cover the business but the society. Although different companies will come up with different approaches, the overall framework to manage the tech disruptions should include the following:
Solve the Issues Before They Are Visible
Reaction mechanisms have been the default settings for most companies. This is an approach that cannot be sustained. Companies need to anticipate the potential consequences of their technologies as they develop and bring them to market. Security and transparency should be at the highest level to promote trust among the stakeholders and the customers. A company’s business model has to embed integrity; how the company hires, treats its intellectual property, markets its products, and how it captures value has to anticipate the consequences of the tech involved in these processes.
Because of the speed of digital tech in things like winsystems embedded computers and other environments, the overall business environment is moving faster. This pace is making leaders avoid taking responsibility for managing risks as they believe that once the tech is right, the rest will take care of itself. Tech companies should take a different route; they should adopt a broader course of action where they take responsibility and respond with the same speed tech is being used to solve these issues. Companies must respond fast to internal issues, correct mishaps and pay close attention to the status of their customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
Work with Regulators
Many tech companies pride themselves in operating against regulators. The business models run in these companies help create products and services that affect the legal, economic, and social aspects of the market. In some companies, these products and services go against regulations that are deemed outdated. This is proving to be a tough way to operate a business as regulators are becoming effective, and customers believe in companies that work within constraints.
A good example is the development of self-driving cars. Companies in this sphere are working to perfect the technology to make it safe for the society. If these companies could function freely without the measures regulators have placed, there would be a lot of accidents and a fallout of this technology.