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Technology to the rescue! (or not)

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« Does standardization really work? It depends....The Value of Mentors »

Technology to the rescue! (or not)

09/07/10

How many times have you heard an IT person say "Oh yes, we can buy a thingamajig that will fix that problem for you." And how many times has the thingamajig actually fixed the problem?

If your answer is more than 0, then you've been fortunate to work in an organization where business forces likely came together to resolve a technology train wreck.

The simple fact of the matter is that technology rarely fixes business problems. Technology is an enabler--able to make business processes work better, but not actually fix a problem by itself. (Truth-in-Writing Disclaimer--There are a few cases where technology might fix a business problem by itself, but that is usually because the problem is defined much too narrowly.)

The CIO should be looking at business problems and working with the business units to see how technology can be part of the solution. It is a fine line sometimes--because many businesses want IT to help drive the business. And IT **can** do this--but it must be in the context of people and process changes.

I would love to hear your stories about times when technology failed to fix a business problem--and what may have been done to fix the problem later. Please share and I'll post the best stories to this blog.

-Don

ps. You may have noticed that I have not been posting as often. I hope to get back on a weekly schedule in November, but in the meantime, postings will be somewhat sporadic. Thanks for your patience.


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Don shares his experience and ideas about how to get the most value from your IT function. Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of Don and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of his clients or employers.

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