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How to balance technical risk and innovation.

Man contemplating website innovations

While following strict corporate regulations makes sense from a risk management standpoint, it can be debilitating to innovation. 

Issues like regulatory compliance, privacy protection, and data security result in a plethora of processes and policies to reduce risk. Unfortunately, this red tape also slows down the hiring, development, and technological advances needed to move business forward.

Processes slowing change is especially dangerous if technology is part of your competitive advantage.

So how can you combat a culture of limits and protect your core competency?

Recognize the dangers of technology complacency.

What happens when your technology is stagnant? Your organization’s growth is hindered due to these issues.

Low employee morale.

Outdated technology can make you feel stuck. Employees may no longer enjoy working within an application and feel frustrated leveraging it to perform needed tasks. They may not be able to find needed information with poorly connected systems, which weakens decision making.

Feeling limited can lead to turnover, a lack of creativity and initiative in employees, and ultimately less innovation.

Increased technical debt.

Not only does outdated technology hurt morale, applications will incur expenses from technical debt. Past decisions that were meant to eliminate risk prove harmful over time. This may have been a quick security patch or the decision to delay a helpful feature.

Missed market opportunities.

What are the costs of going through your business strategy with slow technology, security gaps, or a poor user experience? You may opt to forgo some opportunities all together, giving your competitors an instant advantage.

Find ways to foster innovation in a regulated environment.

These two simple changes to a company’s culture can start remedying the harmful practices that slow you down. 

Encourage people to take risks and allow for mistakes.

While industry regulations will always be a requirement, there may be some other areas where risks are permissible. states:

Roger Perlmutter, the new research and development director at drug giant Merck, gives leaders and their teams the opportunity to take chances without punitive risk. Most wrong decisions at low- to middle-management levels won’t kill the company, and when people engage and take full ownership of their jobs, the result may yield something wonderful.

Create a culture where partners assume some risk.

You’re the expert in your industry and business model, but a partner can specialize in the necessary development piece. 

Find a partner who can focus on the complex technical pieces of a project, assuming the risks of development time and budget. This partnership should empower you to focus on higher level strategy.

For instance, in this example with Mutual Drug, Atlantic BT handled contracting an established 3rd party CSOS auditor to evaluate their application. We then performed multiple internal audits and tests to save our client the significant costs of multiple official audits. 

Handling the nitty gritty back and forth and auditing gave our client some peace of mind. The partnership ultimately led to a stronger, streamlined, and compliant new application that launched their business forward.

Feeling stuck with your technology?

Many businesses come to Atlantic BT for help when they feel limited by their mission-critical applications. We can help by integrating systems, recommending the best way to spend budget, or building new features. 

But most importantly, we understand the nuances of industries with strict policies. That’s why we create flexible processes that work for you – in terms of billing and accounting, development, deploying, and project management.

Reach out to one of our experts to learn more about how we can help.

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