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integration and implementation of technology-focused business solutions

Processes first, technology later

July 1st, 2014

Vector life cycle diagramTechnology vendors sometimes focus too much on the technology they are selling and not enough on the problems that they've been hired to solve. It isn't always intentional – when your day-to-day business is technology, it's easy to get off track.

When you have a hammer, every problem tends to look like a nail.

Technology is an enabler

No matter how advanced or well engineered it is, technology isn't magic and can't solve every problem. That's why we've worked hard to stay focused on solving business problems instead of leading with technology.

Occasionally customers will come to us looking for a technology fix to problems that can't be fixed purely with technology. We do our best to guide them through establishing solid processes outside the technology and then putting the right technology in place to support and enable their processes.

It's not uncommon to discover that the technology they were originally looking for ends up being a wrong fit. But the only chance we have of discovering that before it becomes an expensive mistake is to work through the non-technology side of things first and uncover the root problems that need to be solved.

Technology is an investment

The opposite problem also crops up from time to time. While working on an engagement, we sometimes come across automation opportunities that are basically screaming for a technology solution.

Sometimes these are inefficiencies that have existed for a long time because no one in-house knew that the process could be automated. It's also not uncommon to find a lot of potential efficiency improvements in organizations that have been historically technology adverse.

In those situations, we work with the client to reveal the business impact of software and process automation. The most impressive features in the world don't matter if the business impact can't be clearly identified and explained.

The businesses who are most successful with technology deployments are those that have worked to establish good process and also understand that investing in technology should be viewed as a business investment – with all the analysis of risk and reward that would go into non-technology decision making.

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