Technology Alone Can’t Solve Business Problems – Marek Zmyslowski

We are all enamoured with life-altering
impacts technology has in our lives: even the
littlest of tech innovation has a way of
conditioning the way we act as humans. Take,
for instance, the ubiquitous smartphones –
they have not only shaped the nature and
modes of human interactions, multimillion
dollar businesses have also been birthed based
on their existence.

“Technology is always created by humans and
in turn re-defining what we can and will do.
Every single technological change is now
impacting humanity in a much deeper way than
ever before,” futurist author, Gerd Leonhard,
tells Forbes in a 2016 interview.
But technology is not an end in itself when
business is concerned, it is a merely a means of
achieving it. Just as there are those that will
point to negative impacts of technology
products, so there are instances where over-
reliance on tech to solve business problems
have proved costly due to the absence of
human connection.

While technology has, no doubt, redefined the
way we do business, the soul of any business is
still human. “Technology has revolutionised
manufacturing,” says Marek Zmyslowski, the
chief executive officer of and co-
founder of Jumia Travel in a tweetchat with
The Guardian on Thursday. “But humans are
still irreplaceable in services.”

But Zmyslowski is quick to point out that
technology has been instrumental in
revolutionising the travel industry, especially
when the different players in the industry have
to connect real time. “Technology obviously is
a must here,” he says.
However, while technology can shape, and
perhaps, refine a corporate culture that defines
what a business stands for, it cannot create
one on its own. Zmyslowski acknowledges this
seeming shortcoming and argues that
businesses thrive when their corporate
cultures have a human face. To him, human-to-
human connection in business environment
irrespective of what technology is in use aids
seamless decision-making.

“How your employees treat each other will
affect how they treat customers,” he notes.
For instance, if your employees have created a
culture of not helping each other solve
problems that arise on the job, it may be
difficult for them to offer a helping hand to a
customer who has a hard time understanding a
product or service, especially if that product/
service is technological in nature. 

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