How Cutting Edge Technologies can Enable Better and More Efficient Decision Making
How Successive Waves of Technological Change Led to Better Career Related Decisions
With each iteration of technological change, decision making, whether professional or personal or business related and governmental policy related, gets better and more efficient. This is because decision making in any context thrives on information and when information and better data are available to decision makers, then informed and knowledgeable decisions can be taken.
For instance, lets start with decision making related to career choices and job applications. If you were a job seeker in the 1950s, most probably you had to rely on individual contacts as well as information in some mainstream papers that were not really accessible by all, especially those in the rural and hinterland regions.
Now, say you were a job seeker in the 1970s, then you could rely on dedicated newspapers and magazines for job ads thereby marking a progress from a couple of decades earlier when such information was scarce.
Turning to the 1990s and the 2000s, job seekers then would no doubt be more aware and more informed due to the emergence of the internet that ushered in an era of abundant and free information at the click of a mouse.
Thus, as technology improved, so do your chances of being informed about the latest trends in hiring and placement. Fast forward to the present where information about jobs is literally available without you having to get off your bed or home. This can be seen as an example of how technology enables decision making that is efficient.
Better and Efficient Business Decision Making
Turning to business decision making, the ERP or the Enterprise Resource Planning Systems were the precursors to the present day cutting edge AI (Artificial Intelligence) and other technologies that rely on Data Analytics and Big Data.
Indeed, for those of you born after 2000, chances are that you would not be much aware of how exciting it was when ERP burst on the business landscape. For instance, ERP was the first technology driven platform that enabled business decision makers with a Birds Eye View of the Entire Enterprise meaning that they no longer had to rely on time consuming reports about performance from the different functions such as Sales, HR, Production, Quality, and Admin.
Similarly, as technology progressed, so did the decision making with the result that in the present times, it looks as though the human element would soon become redundant with machine learning and AI taking over from humans.
In addition, even at a micro function level such as HR, cutting edge technologies ensure that HR Managers can simply cut down on the time it takes to go through hundreds of resumes and instead, focus on the best match resumes as well as use AI for the last mile decision making.
This can be seen as an example of how business decision making no longer beholden to Asymmetries of Information that can distort the minds of decision makers.
Real Time and Smart Governance
Even at the governmental level, real time Dashboards and updated data available on a continuous basis has obviated the need for field level reports that take time and instead, by using Smart Governance Solutions, Chief Ministers, and Prime Ministers can simply have all the information at their disposal to take informed decisions.
Indeed, while this was the case in the Western world for a few decades now, emerging economies such as India too are catching up with such Real Time Governance now adopted in many states across the country and more importantly, at the Central Level as well.
Soon, we would have a scenario where urban administrators and regional planners in the government would be plugged into the Smart City Grid that integrates all the disparate functions of urban management into a centralized information database which can then aid them in taking crucial decisions.
Indeed, the emerging Smart City paradigm is all about such Real Time decision making through Big Data and AI powered software that aggregates the data from around the city into a single and centralized location.
In turn, each function of the government such as Finance, Water Resources, Garbage Collection, Traffic Management and Parking, Policing, and Welfare Departments would have their own versions of App based and Sensor based tracking for holistic and comprehensive decision making.
Technology Reduces the Impact of Asymmetries of Information
As mentioned earlier, technology makes information available to anyone who can access it and hence, eliminates the layers of time consuming inefficiencies that are built up which can clog the administrative machinery.
In other words, middlepersons and those who profit from holding back information can be made redundant by transparent and accountable decision making based on inputs from all the data points in the field.
Of course, while this seems idealistic, it is a fact that we are making progress in the journey towards making organizational and governmental decision making efficient and despite, countries such as India not being fully online, there are individuals who are striving to make this a reality.
However, the fact remains that technology cannot solve the puzzle of culturally determined barriers to efficient decision making and this is where we need more visionaries to step in and smoothen the transition to adopting technologies.
In other words, while technology exists, it should not be let go waste due to ingrained attitudes and biases against using it.
To conclude, the dream of a fully Digital Economy can materialize only when the gatekeepers of technology combine with the end users to let everyone into participating in the emerging technology aided decision making model.
- Decision Making in an Uncertain World
- The Need for Certainty and Control
- Decision Making at the time of Crisis
Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
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