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Early Adopter or Cautious Integrator?

The pros and cons of each…

It all started with one computer. Then came generic platforms and applications. Quickly realising the benefits of automating processes through systems, businesses started to demand custom applications. This gave rise to the creation of bespoke applications, which often required time consuming development resulting in the application pretty much being out of date, as it was implemented across the business. The speed in which technology is changing has, in today’s world, made the need for bespoke applications obsolete. Yet businesses are still demanding ‘personalised’ solutions to meet ever changing business process needs to gain competitive advantage; simply by running day to day operations faster & more efficient, all driven by better data.

Legacy systems used to mean large scale infrastructure and architecture, implemented 5-10 years ago at a great cost to the business. Execs were reluctant to make great changes as they were still trying to get ROI out of their enormous spend.

Not so today. Legacy systems can mean anything from 1-5 years old. Simply due to accelerations in development tools, through innovations such as cloud, X-as-a-service, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The cost to implement applications has dramatically reduced, as subscription services are the norm, rather than ownership. Business leaders are faced with multi-faceted questions when it comes to driving their businesses efficiency: implement today or wait a few years to see what new tech will become available and how it will better serve the business.

So the conundrum arises: do businesses and their leaders become early adopters and implement current technology to improve their processes today or do they continue to wait a a few months or years.:

CIOs have had to go through tremendous change and learning in the past 20 years. Some becoming early adapters with the ‘test and learn’ viewpoint, whereas others have become a cautious integrator, holding off during the evolving tech test and learn to see what tech will be used in the coming years. If they are inclined to be early adopters, it is common to see continued implementations of new applications across the business. If this group tends to have a more cautious approach, then often the business has a tendency to stage or even delay new integrations of applications.

Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons of each approach naturally. Let’s explore these:

Early Adopter: these are tech savvy businesses that understand the bigger picture. They actively follow tech trends and can envision adoption benefits and risks quickly. They are not afraid to try new solutions to make the business more efficient, reduce human error, provide better customer service and set appropriate budgets for trying out new solutions.

  • Pro: takes on new technology, gets quick competitive advantage through big data insights, analytics
  • Con: some new tech can be risky and become obsolete – requiring repetitive new projects, change management and costly experiments

Cautious integrator: these are also tech savvy businesses that understand the bigger picture. They too actively follow tech trends and can envision adoption benefits and risks quickly. They are cautious when it comes to new solutions and tend to spend more on analysis before new solution projects go ahead. Naturally they too aim to make the business more efficient, reduce human error, provide better customer service. They tend to take a bit longer to make the leap of faith.

  • Pro: less risk to new projects, easier change managment and inherent time/cost savings due to implementation of proven technology
  • Con: slower to obtain full business critical data insights, therefore losing competitve advantage

The good news is that regardless of point of view, the cost and time to implement are relatively short for most projects; weeks and months rather than years and years.

Are you an early adopter or a cautious integrator? Do you have a mix within your business? How do you overcome these viewpoints to agree a common way forward?

With the added benefit of strategic partnerships with innovators such as @DMWay, @DataWalk, @JMR_UK a wide range of tools are available, such as easy access to data, AI and ML technology in the data unification process, as well as analytics and predictive analytics tools, making the transition from cautious integrator to early adopter easier.

How we can help

We can offer advice and guide you through a new tech project. I’d value the opportunity to discuss your potential projects, both short term and what your business sees as a need on the horizon.

To find out more, call us on 07774 239294, or email

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