Today, the speed of life is nothing like it was a decade ago. It is possible to do ten different things at a time at ten different places. The evolution of mobile phones and Internet has made it possible for people to accelerate the process of almost everything one can think of. On the domestic side, education, for instance, is increasingly done online and so is shopping, banking, payments and so on. On the business arena, the changes have been phenomenal with the practice of telecommuting to work, video conferencing and a whole lot of administration processes going online.
My work, for example, in the human resources of a Telecommunication Company has been on the cutting edge of this transformation in rate of change of speed. The time taken for the recruitment process has shortened with independent agencies offering online databases of candidates that can be accessed, scrutinized and short-listed. The candidates can, then, be interviewed “face-to-face” over the Internet, online tests may be conducted, and a decision taken all in a span of hours, if required. This is a quantum jump, compared to the time this process must have taken prior to the information age.
The implementation of enterprise resource software has enabled the management of my organization to collect, analyze and disseminate data across departments and clear the inevitable bottlenecks in the flow of information. Increased emphasis on supply chain management has accelerated the process of delivering the products faster in to the market to maximize the returns before the competition comes up with a better alternative.
The concept of “Accelerated knowledge creation” has redefined my profession, because the telecommunication sector is one that’s evolving at a pace comparable to that of the Information Technology itself. My task is cut out because I have to equip my organization with people with the latest set of skills on a continuous basis and ensure that they perform in the best interest of the business. There is, simply, no time to develop all the knowledge from scratch in house.
This has also affected the general psyche of employees, making them jump organizations without reservations. And it has made it difficult for companies to protect key personnel from taking significant amount acquired knowledge with them to the competition.
With decreased product life cycle, its imperative that organizations strive to shorten their product development cycle as much as they can. So every process and every department within the organization has to be fine-tuned to achieve that objective. IT and Telecommunication are the tools that can help organization in this quest. The relevance of the “Dematerialization” concept that Martin Kenney puts forth is even more significant today when we consider the extend of success an organization like Google has achieved. With most of their core products are given away “free to use” they have revolutionized the very concept of a product, a service, a business and all the theories associated with them.
Today, we see the second level of evolution in dematerialization of products. We see companies working on acquiring knowledge and leveraging it to create new products and services while leaving the rest of the activities to external agencies. The entire manufacturing process is now outsourced to companies that specialize in it. We see a kind of breaking-up of organizations into leaner and fit units that specialize on what they do best and nothing else.