Tech Should Enable Change, Not Drive It – Harvard Business Review

Executive Summary

There’s an iconic scene in the classic movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the HAL 9000 computer comes to its own decisions that conflict with astronauts on a mission. It’s a powerful and eerie image of humanity being overwhelmed by technology. As the world becomes more tech-centric by the minute, humans must drive change and direct technological investment and adoption. Ultimately, the benchmark for successful technology comes down to whether it’s helping the humans in an organization do what they need to do. Businesses that want to continue to deliver value and help ensure enterprise resiliency in this time of rapid change should aim to become Human Enterprises — putting humans and their needs at the center of their strategies, values, processes, and operations, with technology serving as an enabler rather than a driver of change.

Hiroshi Watanabe/Getty Images

The world is changing in rapid, unprecedented ways, but one thing remains certain: as businesses look to embed lessons learned in recent months and to build enterprise resilience for the future, they are due for even more transformation. As such, most organizations are voraciously evaluating existing and future technologies to see if they’ll be able to deliver the innovation at scale that they’ll need to survive and thrive. However, technology should not be central to these transformation efforts; people