Three Technology Trends Your CU Can't Ignore

Focus on what will shape the future of your organization and industry.

July 22, 2011
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By Daniel Burrus

Technology is evolving—fast. For that reason, it’s imperative for your credit union to focus not just on changes that are happening today, but also on the technological trends that will shape the future of your organization and your industry.

Why? The more anticipatory you can be with technology, the more creatively you can use it to gain competitive advantage.

As someone who has been accurately predicting the future of technology for more than 25 years, I urge all leaders to focus on these three emerging trends that are reshaping the business landscape as we know it.

1. Just-in-time training

Thanks to cloud-based technology, we’re on the brink of a revolution in just-in-time training. This will enable people to use their laptops, cell phones, and tablet computers to receive training precisely when they need it.

At most organizations, people receive training for a variety of things before they actually need the expertise, taking them away from their jobs and costing the company a lot of money. With just-in-time training, companies can keep people in the field until there’s a need for specific training.

Then, when people need a certain skill set to complete a job or do a task, they can receive the pertinent training in real time via cloud-based technology. This can be used to train staff on new software, train salespeople on product upgrades, instruct employees on new policies and procedures, and so on.

It’s different and better than standard tutorials because staff can access the training via any device anywhere and at any time with the option for live help. The applications for cloud-based, just-in-time services are virtually limitless.

2. Processing power on demand

The increased bandwidth that our mobile devices now receive enables us to connect to cloud-based technologies easier and faster than ever before. And one thing we know about bandwidth is that it will continue to increase.

Because of this, we’ll soon be able to take advantage of another trend I call processing power on demand—or virtualized processing power.

We’ve already virtualized so many things. Consider virtualized storage where we can store our data on a cloud-based network. Many companies choose this option for data safety, ease of backup, and the ability to access the data via any device.

We have virtualized our desktops so we can see them on anyone else’s machine just how they’re supposed to appear.

It makes sense, then, that processing power will be virtualized too. In other words, a mobile device only has a certain amount of processing power. But if you can tap into additional processing power via cloud-based technology, you can turn your mobile device into a super computer where you can do advanced simulations and crunch different data streams together to get real time analytics.

Now, your handheld device is as powerful and advanced as your desktop. Imagine the increase in productivity if your employees could do complex work requiring advanced processing power while they’re on the road, armed with nothing more than their mobile device.

What would that shift do to your company’s bottom line?

Next: Creative application of technology

Moving beyond infrastructure needs

Hugh Smallwood, CTO Ongoing Operations
August 01, 2011 5:26 pm
Great article. For many IT managers and executives it is a struggle, however, to keep on top of technology trends in so many different areas. I see more and more IT departments today trying to get the latest in storage or the most powerful options in compute. Focus on infrastructure and lower levels of technology are creating a larger gap between what the business needs and what IT is delivering. This is where successful Cloud strategies can truly add value to an organization. Allowing IT resources to focus on initiatives closer aligned to the core business functions.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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