Adjusting to Technology

13Nov11

A common and interesting trend throughout this week’s reading discussed how to manage and adjust a company to the constant technological changes that occur in the market. The software development industry is one that is heavily affected by these rapid technological advancements and even big corporations like Adobe or Google face the problems and concerns brought about by these changes. This Bloomberg article discusses Adobe’s problem in adjusting to the innovations and changing trends occurring in the mobile and tablet software industry. As many know, Apple refused to allow support for Adobe Flash on its handsets and tablet products and instead opted for supporting HTML5. In response, Adobe continued to focus on supporting Flash on competing mobile platforms Android, BlackberryOS, and webOS in spite of Apple’s reluctance.  However, this has not panned out the way the company expected as, “Apple’s dominance in mobile computing, the faster evolution of Web standards like HTML5, and the popularity of smartphones and tablets required Adobe to embrace newer technology, said Al Hilwa, an analyst at market researcher IDC.” Adobe announced it would be phasing out Flash in favor of HTML5, a transition that resulted in laying off 750 employees and a projected decrease in revenue growth.

Another key issue with managing and adjusting to technological innovations is the bloating that comes with it. Companies like Google are so focused on being creative and inventing the next, new innovation that they fund enormous amounts of labor and projects to see what works and what doesn’t. As a result, these projects may never meet their full potential as their focus on each is stretched thin due to the sheer amount of areas they are invested in. The first goal of Google’s new CEO, Sergey Brin, is to re-focus the company on projects and products they believe have the biggest potential and scrapping the rest. According to Kung (2010), “Organizations need to change, but the processes, systems, strategies, and assumptions that have brought success for so long have become institutionalized and are hard to alter.” This substantial change in philosophy is already impacting employees of Google as exemplified by the following quote from the article: “Naysayers fret that in his rush to refocus the company, and especially in ending projects, he risks squelching Google’s trademark innovation, which bubbles up when engineers are given the time to experiment. ‘He’s going to lose some people at the end of the day,’ said one employee who, like others, agreed to speak only anonymously because the company bars them from talking to the press without prior approval.”

Chris G.

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