In this era of immediate news updates popping up on smartwatches and vehicles running on electric batteries rather than fossil fuels, there are so many new technologies that are revolutionizing the way we are able to do business. Many of the gadgets and software programs. that we find in our manufacturing plants and supply chain management companies have given new life and autonomy to necessary daily activities, in turn making our jobs easier.

However, not every piece of technology is perfect, nor will all companies feel the need to switch over from their legacy systems. At times it does seem as though businesses are holding on to their older technologies because they are either apprehensive of change or don't seem compelled rock the boat. In an age where people constantly desire the newest and best tech available, does it make sense to let legacy systems reign when there are other options available?

Resistant to change
For seasoned professionals who have been in the game for a long time, it can be difficult to let go of the methods to which they have become accustomed. This is not simply an older generation clinging to the familiar, but a trend that usually emerges as new technologies come on the scene. According to the Harvard Business Review, technological innovations often take a bit of time to catch on in the business world even if they've been popular for private use.

The source indicated that there are many factors that go into choosing a gadget or software system before CIOs can make a decision on what to use. Initially, there's the cost of the switch and then managers have to account for a learning curve and overall adjustments to get used to the service.

Each company will be faced with different issues as far as budget and need go, but it all boils down to the same question: Can this business stay relevant with the current systems in place? If the answer is yes, then things might not need to change, but if the answer happens to be no, then the enterprise must refocus its efforts to stay competitive in the intense corporate climate.

Is change always good?
At some point, there is bound to be a technology that comes along that defies expectations and has the potential to change the way the game is played. In this case, 3-D printers are such a product. These machines provide companies with the opportunity to create spare parts rather than spending the time and money to procure a new one. However, is this futuristic piece of technology really capable of reproducing a machine part with the same quality of a professionally produced one?

This is a very important question to examine when looking into new technologies. The 3-D printer has endless possibilities, but as DefenseSystem noted, their creations are not always exactly the same as the "real" thing. These reproductions may appear to be nearly identical in their composition to a brand-name part, but it may not function in the same manner. Companies that utilize this technology to replace broken machine parts run the risk of breaking the machine again or having another malfunction. Not only does this take up more time and resources, but the results could be dangerous. 

In the end, the decision to adopt fresh technology comes down to each individual company. Some may feel that they can compensate for the lack of brand new software systems in different ways while other businesses wouldn't risk falling behind the competition. As long as the supply chain is safe and profitable, it doesn't really seem to matter what gets the job done. Only time will tell if the new gadgets of today become the legacy systems of tomorrow.

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Carole Boyle

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