Business Needs Lead

We stumbled across this great Dilbert strip that illustrates something we run into every day: technology for the sake of technology. When a new technology hits an industry, it’s all anyone can talk about. And it quickly becomes much like the above strip, where a leader insists that the new-tech must be implemented.

IT Leaders aren’t immune to this. As new technologies it (cloud, IoT) hit the radar, there’s an instant desire to start utilizing the new stuff. The problem is, we haven’t taken the time to figure out if the new tech is relevant to our business.

Business Needs Lead

In the old newspaper days, editors would say “if it bleeds, it leads” meaning, stories with more…excitement…got the headlines. In our world, we’ve adopted something similar “business needs, lead.” In helping our partners decide what to do with new technologies, we have to first get them to understand the possible impacts those technologies can have on their business.

It’s from this context that a conversation should be had. Implementing new tech, just because it’s “new” is costly, reckless and time consuming. We all know this, but very few of us put that into practice and instead pursue new technologies and try to discover business cases around it instead of letting business cases lead us to supporting technology.

Fad or Fabulous?

Let’s say you’ve documented business needs and start looking for technology to support that, how do you decide if the new technology is a ‘fad’ or ‘fabulous.’ Pursuing new technologies that fall under ‘fad’ can be a mortal wound to an organization.

This is an old example, but remember Betamax? What if you had been a video production company in the 70s, Betamax comes out and you recommend going ‘all in?’ It was technology that supported your business needs, but, selecting it would have crushed your company.

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