What Is Legacy Thinking and Why It’s Killing Your Business?

Break The legacy tinking

Challenging the status quo can be quite a struggle for us as human beings.

Adapting to change isn’t something that we’re necessarily good at. And it doesn’t help that we have mental processes that prevent us from embracing the new and unlearning the old.

Our inability to put emotions, nostalgia and comfort aside becomes a hindrance to our development. In business, our personal lives and society, as a whole. That’s why it’s crucial to be in a constant state of growth and adaptation; transforming our ideas of reality as we move into the unknown and unfamiliar. That way, we’re able to progress into the future unified and united.

And that’s why legacy thinking is a major threat to progress.

But What Is Legacy Thinking

Legacy thinking, simply put, is the outdated and antiquated approach to our thought processes, beliefs and foresight around business, technology and society. 

By relying on our idea of normalcy, we detach ourselves from the value that new technology brings to us. Blissfully ignoring the fact that our world has changed, and is changing, in drastic ways. Over the last 10 years, humanity has seen massive improvements and developments that we never thought was possible; smartphones, tablets, cloud computing, and high-speed internet have become a staple part of our daily lives.

Even the disruptive innovations within the transportation (Uber, Tesla), retail (Amazon, Takealot) and entertainment (Netflix, Youtube) industries, to name a few, have brought forth a whole new paradigm and approach to life.

While we’ve certainly adapted to some of these new innovations, entrepreneurs, leaders and some of the most mature industries are still struggling to form a healthy relationship with transformational technology.

And legacy thinking is often to blame.

The Role of AI In Disrupting Legacy Thinking

Between 2019 and 2020, a staggering 50% of organisations have adopted AI into at least one of their business functions. This shows us that there are still many industries reluctant to bring new technologies into their processes, strategies and decision-making.

Deep learning, which makes use of neural networks and machine learning, provides far more efficiency, insight and entirely new approaches to the way that we process and utilise information. But is also on the waiting-list for adoption. With only 16-30% of organisations implementing this powerful technology, it’s becoming clear that this transformation eludes many businesses. Even though predictions say that deep learning alone could bring upwards of $3.5 trillion in global value annually.

Some of the biggest reasons behind this slow adoption is due to legacy thinking, as well as the costs and misconceptions associated with implementing AI.

The idea that automation and AI might harbour the inception of robots that replace us is still a thought etched into people’s minds. It proves that not nearly enough organisations understand the purpose and function of this technology.  

Clearing Up The AI Misconception

The misconception that this technology is a simple plug and play process is also a large issue. It involves so much more focus and creativity; It’s not only about efficiency and improved profits, but more about how it enhances and develops new processes, insights and strategies that were previously unthought of. 

Another major issue is a lack of skills within organisations to make proper use of AI. Having staff with high levels of expertise around implementing AI, deep learning, and data engineering becomes quite costly and difficult to maintain. Especially when considering the budgetary limitations of most businesses.

By combining creative thought and contemporary technology, we’re able to create and formulate new systems and processes, as well as improve and enhance existing ones. Simply put, it’s a new way of approaching and automating tasks, insights and processes. What would usually take days, weeks and months to finish, people can achieve in a matter of hours, minutes and even seconds.

Don’t Be Complacent

The outdated narrative of “if it works, why change it?” and “that’s the way it’s always been done”, has long passed its due date. Being selective in the technology that we embrace (i.e. smartphones, social media and streaming) is counter-productive; we should see the value in all of the new and emerging technology that exists, educate ourselves and make use of it in every way, shape and form. 

Don’t be a victim to legacy thinking. Seek out and enjoy the benefits that come with this new era of technology. It would be unwise to ignore its potential. And if you’re not quick enough, someone else will be.  

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