In my travels around the globe, lecturing, teaching, and sharing experiences with folks about information and process management, I often hear that technology suppliers are at fault for various shortfalls in a project. In fact, I had one person tell me her company was about to “toss out” their fifth content management vendor and start over to find one that could do the job.
My question to her was simple, what do you want this technology to do? What business problem are you trying to solve? Her answer was quick. “We want to speed up transaction times, decrease operating expenses, and improve customer interactions.” These are all admirable goals, but I then asked, again about the business problem they are trying to solve? The terms I heard are great marketing jargon, but when you say speed up transaction times, what does that mean? When you talk about decreasing operating expenses and improving customer interactions, what does that really mean? Why can’t you do that now and if you don’t know the answer to that question, why do you think technology will fix what you think is a problem?
In my View
The scenario I presented here is one I have heard over and over again, leading me to ask who is a fault when the technology and the supplier of that technology fall short? The answer is simple, both parties need to share the blame. The consumer has not presented the real business problem and may not know how to articulate it properly, or have the ability to truly identify the underlying problem in achieving these stated goals.
I also place some blame on the supplier, for not delving deeper, in order to identify the true problem and instead focus on getting the technology implemented without having enough information to address the issues properly. This is a case of technology for technology sake. What should happen is both parties work as a team to document the current state, goals, and future state required to achieve those goals. At that point, discussions can focus on the problems preventing progress, gaps in the process and techology, and move business forward with measurable results.
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Bob Larrivee is a recognized expert in the application of advanced technologies and process improvement to solve business problems and enhance business operations. In his career, Bob has led many projects and authored hundreds of eBooks, Industry Reports, Blogs, Articles, and Infographics. In addition, he has served as host and guest Subject Matter Expert on a wide variety of webinars, Podcasts, Virtual Events, and lectured at in-person seminars and conferences around the globe.