An Agile Approach to Ag Tech

Posted by Sara Schafer on Tue, 10/02/2018 - 16:21

Technology changes exponentially, while people and organizations change logarithmically. This creates a strategy gap as you try to piece together the role and ROI of technology on your farm, says Scott Klososky, founding partner of technology and cybersecurity firm TriCorps Technologies.

The ever-changing ag tech landscape creates opportunities and dangers. You must stay on the cutting edge to be competitive, without wasting money on products that don’t live up to their promises.

“Don’t just invest in technology in fits and spurts and think you’re going to get where you need to go,” Klososky says. “You have to have a blueprint. Waiting for other people to define the best practices for a new technology doesn’t work.”

Ag tech requires investments of time and money. “As a leader, make a conscious choice of how smart you want your operation to be and how fast you want it to move,” he says.

Take inventory of where your operation is on the spectrum of technology adoption, suggests Steve Cubbage, precision ag consultant and owner of Record Harvest.

“Ask basic questions to see how well your farm is equipped with technology,” he says. This will help you find out what products and services you use that are duplicative or that you’re not leveraging well.

You’ll find out what tools are missing or where your team needs more training. “A lot of dollars are wasted or not utilized just because somebody doesn’t have the training,” Cubbage explains.

Forward Path. Take your ag tech inventory and use it as a foundation for where your operation needs to be, both on a short-term and long-term basis.

“You have to be able to create and execute the digital plumbing on your farm,” Klososky explains. “Design, planning and project management are essential skills in a transformation. Resources like capital, people and tools, will need to be acquired and applied.” 

Look for ways to partner with companies so you can be early testers of new technologies, Klososky suggests. “There are a lot of vendors and startups, and there will be more of them. A good leader today has somebody doing surveillance on all these companies.”

Be ready to capitalize on disruptive technologies in agriculture and build a sound foundation for your farm in the future.  

Thrive in a VUCA World

Originally coined by the military, the concept of VUCA is now adopted by the business world to describe the economy during the digital transformation, says futurist and technologist Scott Klososky. He says leaders need to apply and transform this concept to make better decisions around technology.