Short-term pain. Digital gain

New Thinking 3 October 2016 Rodger Perkins

Technology is at the centre of our lives. Our daily actions and interactions rely on it. From brushing your teeth with an electric toothbrush to making the perfect coffee with your all-singing, all-dancing coffee machine. And then heading to work on the fully monitored, digitally controlled road network. Before you even sit down at your desk, you've been exposed to millions of lines of code. 

These days, you would need to be a hermit living on an island in the middle of the Pacific to avoid this technology. Some people would love to do that of course! But I’m not one of them. For me, technology is about improving the short time we’re on this planet and I’m passionately interested in the positive change it promises.

Taking advantage of new technologies and the promise it offers, means first letting go of the old. For many, this can be a problem. It will hold them both back and might also hold back others around them. I thought about this in the context of my own family and our household. Here’s my story…

  1. I got my first iPhone in late ’08. I removed and recycled all the phone books from my house. Immediately, I knew that phone books were now an irrelevant and wasteful source of information that was no longer sustainable.
  2. When we moved in 2013, I didn't reinstall the landline. Instead, I provided everyone in my family with a mobile phone and connected them through the same plan. Why would anyone need a home phone?
  3. I stopped buying my much-loved morning newspaper in 2009 when I discovered I could source all my news requirements from the Internet. Printing newspapers is no longer a sustainable use of our resources. They’re out-of-date before they even hit the presses.
  4. This year, I dropped Sky TV. Sky’s slowness to move from schedule-based content to content on demand is killing them. TVNZ and TV3 the same. Today, we watch what we want, when we want.
  5. I use Uber everywhere I can. They’ve built a fantastic user-centric technology solution that supply-led taxi companies would never dream of. Thinking back, using a regular tax company felt like you were doing them a favour.

So how did my family react to all this? When I eliminated the landline and banished the newspaper from my home, it caused some short-term pain. When I removed Sky, many questioned my thinking. They thought that my early adoption of technology might have gone too far. But in every case of change, people around me have adjusted fast, moved onto the new platforms and no longer miss the old. They all now support the change, the reasons for change and the approach I took. 

So to business. I now sit in a newly created role as Head of Technologies for Assurity. Sitting pretty of course, because the role is right down my digital street. And it’s a street where the pace of change is incredible. The number of tools and technologies entering the world of software delivery is both mesmerising and – potentially – bewildering. But I love it. And I’m going to take precisely the same approach to these technologies as I did with the ones that changed my family’s lives over the last few years.

With my team, I’m going to source the best technology solutions from partners from around the world and bring these to New Zealand. Technologies that improve the quality and speed of software-developed change. Technologies that allow you to build, scale and operate innovative new products faster. Tech that takes testing forward – that better finds and reports defects, automatically repairs automated scripts and provides automated emulation and virtualisation. The cost of poor quality in production is infinitely higher than the cost of finding and fixing those same problems in the earlier stages of the SDLC. It’s like getting news digitally versus getting old news from the printed paper. 

I understand the challenges of living in a world filled with complexity and pressure and I have technology solutions that can improve your world, enhance communication and reporting, make the invisible visible and eliminate the monotony of day-to-day laborious tasks. 

Tech that has the power to make positive change in everyone’s lives. When you're ready to change your world, blow your mind, line up outside the shop with eager anticipation… call me! I can get you through the short-term pain and into digital gain… and you’ll never look back.