Monday, February 10, 2014

Make Technology Part of the Solution

It is funny sometimes how social media works.  On a whim during my lunch hour, I got on Twitter and posted a bit of technology wisdom in less than 140 characters and received a pretty strong reaction of support.

This week on the blog I wanted to expound on that and tell you why you might be looking at technology incorrectly.

I have spent over fifteen years of my professional life as a software developer and technology consultant.  In that time, I have seen first-hand how many times companies have used technology to paper over a broken process.  Accounts payable are not being taken care of in a timely manner so an automated system is put into place.  Inventory control is not being managed correctly so a fancy ERP system is installed.  Finally, web sites are used as substitutes for real marketing and face to face interaction with customers.  Through it all, I have shaken my head in disbelief and cashed the checks of people willing to pay me.

I suspect that is because many business people understand their business but do not understand technology.  It is also clear that they don’t understand all the work that goes into a professional web site or piece of software.  They just think it is magic.  They turn on a computer or open a web browser and instantly it works bringing customers to their business and managing the tedious parts of their job.  The reality is very different.  Technology makes managing your business easier but it does not replace the difficult decisions that a business person has to make.  Poor employees will need to be fired.  Bills will have to be paid on time.  Finally, you will have to interact with customers.

This may not seem like news to many people but it consistently surprises me that how many business professionals just think that technology should “just work” when they do not understand how it should just work.  For instance, if you have an accounts payable system, which accounts should the system debit the checks.  If one of this accounts doesn’t have enough money how do you prioritize which bills get paid?  Finally, do you pay bills electronically or do you print checks and then send them out in the mail?  All of these are important questions and a business person needs to know the answers before a technology person can create a system to manage it.

I suppose, I am a bit jaded from my years of experience.  One of the reasons I founded E3 systems was so I could help businesses solve problems with technology instead of using technology as an excuse to ignore those problems.  Contact us today to find out more.

Technology is not some kind of magic.  Technology is a tool for helping you generate profit and meeting the needs of your customers.  By better understanding your business, you can make technology an ally instead of an excuse.

Until next time.