“We bought this new intelligent information management solution and the damn thing is a failure!” This is something I often hear and the question I have is typically, “Is it really the technology that failed or did you fail the technology?” This of course opens a discussion or prompts quick responses like “What do you mean we failed the technology?” My point being that of knowing what the technology was intended to do. I have always said that technology for technology sake will always fail to meet expectations.
In order for technology to be successful, there must be a purpose – reason – for the technology. Are you trying to solve a business problem and do you really know what the underlying problems is or are you simply addressing a symptom? Are you upgrading in order to remain competitive? Are you planning to use the technology as part of your RISK/compliance program and if so, how does it factor into the information ecosystem? Perhaps you are trying to automate some of your business processes, but do you truly understand those processes and their interrelationships with other processes, information, and people?
These are but a few of the questions that should be asked before a technology purchase decision is made. If you don’t understand the true reason you want the technology, how can you expect it to succeed and you should ask yourself, if you really need it? Once you understand the true reasons and business problems you are trying to solve, you can match what you already have in place to see if it provides what you need. If not, then go buy it, but why spend more money if you have something in-house already? If you are unsure about any of this, seek external advice. Many times an independent third-party can help you step back and look at the bigger picture.
Next time you feel a technology solution is failing you, ask yourself – “Is it the really the technology or is it us?” You may be surprised at the answer.