As corny as it might sound, it’s true. No business, regardless of the availability of labor, can survive without the integration of some type of technology solution. Textiles, Agriculture, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing and more – essentially any organization that wants to be competitive in the real world, needs more than accounting packages. And if you’re nodding your head thinking that automation kills employment, get with the program.
Where you have technology implementation, you have the forced need to raise the standard on skills. Working under the assumption that people are smarter than machines, automation enables employers to apply their workforce to solving problems with intelligence rather than large numbers.
The implementation of a technology solution into the enterprise ecosystem means a system exists. If you have a system in place, that means there is a blueprint for organization in your setup. It’s almost a vicious cycle.
Most traditionally non-tech companies across Pakistan, especially the ones that depend on mass unskilled labor, still operate in the Dark Ages. Unified is as distant from Communications as is the Earth is to the Clouds, and websites, albeit Flash intensive, are only just becoming the fad.
Quality control, standardization and operational efficiency are simply not possible with a mass chaotic staff, and when you can’t achieve these, you can’t be competitive in the global arena.
Can Local Tech Companies Help?
Sure they can. Much of the expertise required by large organizations to go from zero to the first few steps in the pre-automation phase is available locally. Business consultants that understand what kind of systems and infrastructure planning technology solutions will need to build on, are here.
Listings of such companies can be found on the Pakistan Software Export Board or the Pakistan Software Houses Association. Alternately, if you’re looking for a one-stop shop where you get the first phase of consultancy to prepare your infrastructure for IT solutions and then also help you in the IT implementation phase, then you’re looking for System Integrator. Depending on the vertical you’re in, you’ll find the companies such as InfoTech, Techlogixor Millennium Soft.
But here’s the point that many companies miss out on: If you buy services from a technology outfit, that’s not the end of your problems. More often than not, this is just the beginning of a lot of heartache and sweat.
The biggest hindrance you’ll face is changing the mindset across the organization. Simply put, people resist change. That’s where management ownership comes into play. If the CEO doesn’t embrace the change, nobody else will. If the CEO doesn’t start using email for official correspondence, you can turn blue in the face and nobody else will either. The willingness to change has to be initiated at the top of the food chain and work its way down.
Bringing in technology and teach people a skill, is additional work and a good reason to resist change. But if the CEO does it, so will everyone else.
There is a lot of technology in every byte that an organization takes. The process outlined here is an extremely abridged and simplified one, and there’s only one thing that’s so clear: if Pakistani companies don’t embrace automation and raise the bar of what they can produce and export to the national and international markets, our chips will most certainly fuse.