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Last week, we talked about shiny things in IT. This week, we’re bringing you the business side of shiny things. Let’s dive in!
Let’s say an executive goes to a Microsoft Conference and learns about a bunch of new technologies and software. Then, this business executive likes the sound of them and signs up for a bunch of new things. This is all exciting and new to the business professional because it has the potential to bring new productivity to the office and streamline everything. The problem is, this business professional gives it to the IT professional and expects it to be implemented in order to make their business better. This brings a lot of work to the IT department and may not work well with the existing systems, making it necessary to rework the entire way of doing things.
The other issue is that the business professional bought shiny things without an understanding of how the shiny things will actually help the business. Great ideas are fun, but they don’t always work very well, are expensive, and require lots of upkeep. Basically, it’s bad to invest in shiny things without the demand already there.
The latest methodology or frameworks can be overly complicated and might not work for your business. And, the more complicated the system, the more difficult it will be to implement. Even if something looks great, it just might not be the best option for your company.
Look at your framework as a playground. Have people do things the way they want to, then, when “recess” is done, have everyone line up at the door together. This way of doing things allows for people to feel comfortable in how they go about working, but still keeps things streamlined for your business. As long as you line up at the door, you can do things the way you would like.
The biggest question to ask yourself when looking at new, shiny business things is this: what business practices fit into what I am already doing? It should feel like implementing new systems does not take much effort and allow a slow and natural move.
Back in the day, Palm Pilots were all the rage. People bought them hoping to be better organized in their day-to-day lives. The issue was that you already had to be organized to have the Palm Pilot work for you. If you already struggled to be organized, then a Palm Pilot would not help you. Or, if you’re not already using a day planner, then an electronic day planner will be no help to you.
Think about how you already think and work and find new technologies that will fit into that and make your business more efficient. Also, think about your employees. Every single person is different and new systems will not always work for every single person.
Augment things that you already do and allow shiny things to drive your business instead of confusing and overcomplicating. Make sure that the shiny and cool technology has a practical purpose that you can implement and support.