Lets assume that you are a fairly large company which develops and maintains 200 small to medium sized web applications. Each application is a web application, contains some level of integrations with other systems, and has database connections. Your company leaders advertise that the company will be an innovative and a industry leading company. From an IT perspective, you may have come across articles about the newest technologies. As an example, below is a short list of technologies for 2017:
- Front-end: Angular vs React vs Vue
- Java vs .NET vs Python vs Ruby vs Node.JS: Who Reigns the Job Market?
- REST in Peace: Microservices vs monoliths in real-life examples
- Best Content Management System
- Where Social Media Is Headed in 2017: The Biggest Trends to Watch For
- Bootstrap vs Google Material Design Lite – Which one is Better?
- The 12 Best Team Chat Apps for Your Company
The Technology Adoption Lifecycle
For context and education of the readers, the innovation adoption lifecycle is the adoption rate and timing of when a company or a person may or will adopt a technology. The left side of the graph above shows the innovators and early adopters. There is a certain level of risk with this group because the technology could fail or die. On the right side of the graph, we have the laggards. These are those who may purchase a floppy disk after 84% of the population may already have a floppy disk. The risk with this group is that they just purchased a technology which will go out of date soon. The inner 68% are where the majority lies.
As a company, you understand that there is cost in time, resources, money, and maintenance with chasing the newest technology. On the flip side, you also understand that staying stale will create issues such as usability, security, maintenance, loosing the market advantage, and lack of trained personnel. You are left with a decision. Do you chase the newest technology or do you stay stale? Can it be a mix of both or does it depend on the technology? Do you follow the crowd or pave the way? What would you choose for this company?
Technology Adoption Lifecycle Image: CC BY 2.5, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11484459