November 25, 2019 • Smart Resources
Spotlight On: Technology and Innovation with J. Kyle Howard
At Smart Resources, we’re extremely proud of the groundbreaking advancements in technology that our consultants work towards each and every day. Our skilled IT professionals work in a variety of sectors with a wide range of technologies. Each month, we sit down with a consultant to have an in-depth conversation about their current project to gain insight on technology and its capabilities. This month, we’ll be discussing technology and innovation with J. Kyle Howard!
Name: J. Kyle Howard
Business & Technology Integration and Strategy Consultant
Years with Smart Resources: 1
Professional background: 27 years in technology, 2 as CIO
Let’s talk about technology and how it’s commonly used:
Technology has always been a game changer, even down to the utensils that primitive man developed to create an advantage over larger prey. Today, it shrinks the world down to bits and bytes making day-to-day tasks much easier. However, there’s always a side-effect. I believe that we as human beings have come to rely on technology to the point of losing a small bit of our humanity and the ability to physically connect with one another.
What originally drew you to working with technology?
I’ve always been a curious soul and often wondered, “How do things work?” My first love was electrical theory and focused energy derived from chaos. Then, my high school purchased a TRS80 from Radio Shack. I’d finished my senior year of classes my junior year. After football season was over, I spent the day playing with the computer and I was hooked.
What do you enjoy about working with technology?
Technology represents what’s possible. How do we stretch our minds, bodies, ideas to create what’s possible? While we are limited by our own perceptions, we can now easily collaborate with others with different perceptions to create something more useful using technology.
What challenges have you faced while working with technology?
The biggest challenge has always been the limitation of thought while trying to expand the ideas to business users of what’s possible. Often, it’s difficult to explain in laymen’s terms what we can accomplish. The requirements either change or are not fully expressed. We’ve tried to be AGILE to accommodate this, but it still boils down to the users of the technology.
What do you see in the future for technology?
It’s somewhat frightening to think how much we rely on technology. The impact for some will be fantastic but will, as it always has, displace others. There is a new economy that will be driven by technology. But how do we get most people on board? No longer is business using technology, business is technology.
What is the best piece of advice you have for someone learning about or working with tech?
I will always suggest that anyone interested in working in tech start in a customer-focused/service position that supports users of technology. It’s a dying but important breed. Once you understand how non-tech savvy users interact with technology, you will be better able to think outside the box. While innovation is primarily driven by competition, you will only have your limited view of it. Also, become a generalist. Broaden your skillset and learn business functions.
Do you have any additional advice, anecdotes, or information about tech that you’d like to share?
Technology is a tool. This tool allows us to be more efficient and is solely limited by our ability to think of what’s possible.
How is technology driving your business? At Smart Resources, we believe that, in the hands of the right people, technology has the power to solve problems and create innovative solutions. Let Smart help you find the right people for your business.