IndustryWeek: 5 Leadership Ideas Worth Stealing from Tech

This article was originally published by Andrew Rieser in IndustryWeek

Let’s nerd out for a minute. Do you know where the term “software patch” comes from?

Some of our younger readers might be surprised to know that, in the old days, users were literally required to cut and paste code to keep their computers updated. And I do mean literally.

Back then, computer instructions were written on tape and punch cards. So when software suppliers issued an update, they mailed updated tapes or cards to users. Recipients were provided instructions on where to cut out the old code and patch in (hence the name) the replacement.

No kidding. As you can imagine, updates were a rare and time-consuming occurrence.

But as technology evolved, updates became more efficient and commonplace. Fast forward through magnetic tape, disk drives, CD-ROMs, and the introduction of the internet to the world we live in today. I can hardly pick up my laptop, phone, or tablet without being prompted to approve a bug fix or installation. And that’s on top of the many updates running automatically in the background.

So here’s my point: technology is evolving far faster than our organizations.

Mid-sized and small-enterprise manufacturers are particularly lagging, especially once you go beyond the shop floor.

Andrew Rieser is president and co-founder of Mountain Point, a digital transformation consulting firm specializing in the manufacturing sector. He has nearly two decades of experience in designing and implementing digital business processes. Mountain Point is a member of the Savage Grant family of companies.