''One can do a business on carriage rental, but it is not competing with Tesla''

Bulat Ganiev, the managing partner of Tekhnokratia company, tells who and when really needs technology

''One can do a business on carriage rental, but it is not competing with Tesla'' Photo: Maksim Platonov

It is very difficult to understand what kind of technology your company needs in our century. Therefore, companies either throw themselves at everything new or pretend that nothing happens. Few succeed to walk along a thin edge. Bulat Ganiev, the managing partner of a technology company, acts in a paradoxical quality – he dissuades potential customers from thoughtless use of technology. Why – read in the author's column for Realnoe Vremya.

I am a representative of technology business, but I will try to convince you that most trend technologies are useless for you or even harmful.

I have to talk a lot with potential customers, and I see that they often don't realize that technology is just a catalyst, just like advertising. There is a great rule: good advertising of a bad product only accelerates its death. The same can be said about technologies. If your business process works well, then technology can make it better. If it works badly, then you'll get just automated chaos and mess that will only speed up the crash process and make your business process even less efficient. You will get even more costs in your business.

Whom blockchain helped?

Here are a few examples. Imagine that a company introduces a chat to be closer to the audience. To give customers the opportunity to apply for technical support in a more convenient format. But if in the company at some deep level there is no cult of the client and normal service, the client don't care where he is treated rudely: by phone or in chat. There will be no effect for business, the company will only drain several million rubles by introducing a useless system.

There is another example — the recent rush for big data analytics. Moreover, the companies saw this as a ''magic pill''. It is believed that if you know everything about your customers, the business grows. Perhaps, endless search for correlations of figures will bring you to interesting ideas, but more probably, if you don't have correct questions, there will be no correct answers.

''It is believed that if you know everything about your customers, the business grows. Perhaps, endless search for correlations of figures will bring you to interesting ideas, but more probably, if you don't have correct questions, there will be no correct answers.'' Photo: Aleksander Galkin

The third example can be called ''Blockchain, please. As much as possible!'' The idea that having blockchain is equal to success is absurd. Almost always blockchain within companies is useless. This is confirmed by few number of successful cases.

Blockchain is an interesting technology that can solve a huge problem of ''distrust costs'' (there are a lot of resource-intensive processes in the economy caused by the risk of fraud). It will solve some problems, but only some. Technology is not magic, and blockchain is no exception. Now there are a lot more people who just want to implement the technology than those who understand how it works and why it is needed. This is a speculative situation.

How to compete with Tesla

Technological obscurantism is explained by the fact that most companies do not understand that the process of digital transformation is not about technology, but about people. This is not about a single action that companies need to take in order to be more successful in the future, but about how companies create a system that will hire the right people, reproduce ideas, bring them to the creation of products. It is useful to start with figuring out what your corporate culture is and what values the company conveys to the personnel market. Your ability to take innovators from the market is key in the process of this transformation. If the company is ready to accept creative people offering interesting solutions, the company should have a system in which these people can become more effective. They need to be supported and developed, not cut off their creative impulses like it often happens.

Passion for technologies without understanding where to apply them reminds me of a story with a person who decides to start healthy lifestyle, exercise and eat properly. At the same time, he prefers to buy a subscription, put it on the shelf and take vitamins every morning. He will find mental and emotional stability, of course, but from the point of view of efficiency, it looks doubtful. The sellers of ''magic pill'' technology did not appear today, they were a century ago as well. The examples are known to everyone: MMM financial pyramid, mages and psychics — everything that promises fast effect without the slightest effort.

''Very interesting in this regard it was written in the book by Jim Collins Good to Great. He wrote that great companies, unlike just good ones, are usually quite conservative.'' Photo: financio.ru

Very interesting in this regard it was written in the book by Jim Collins Good to Great. He wrote that great companies, unlike just good ones, are usually quite conservative, and they introduced new technologies later than their competitors because they had long been comprehending how exactly this technology could improve the efficiency of their business. But now these companies are ones of the most technologically advanced among the competitors and, of course, the market leaders: Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark and so on (of course, the information was current at the time of the publication of the book).

When your company decides on packaging a new service or to develop a new program, you need to understand how this system is integrated into the existing system, whether you are ready for innovation. This is important because most often the answer is ''No'', and those notorious 20% actions that bring 80% of the result the company can do without the introduction of a new service.

You can do a business on carriage rental in the era of electric cars, but this does not mean that you compete with Tesla. If you compete with Tesla, you need to be the most technological (and even fashionable and beautiful). At any time, quality of the product and its competitive advantages in a particular period are important. For some businesses, technology is the key quality, for other — it is secondary.

Recorded by Aygul Chuprina