Technology is Not the Answer

Technology is not the answer. That may sound like a contradictory statement coming from a mobile software company, but I believe it is true.

In speaking with various companies and seeking to keep a pulse on the industry, there seems to be this naive hope that technology can become the savior for a complex mess of operational issues. Hoping that a piece of technology will magically solve the multi-layered challenges of mobile time management, asset management, work order management, etc, etc, etc…is similar to going to the doctor for the pain from a gushing head wound and receiving a shot of morphine. Pain gone, problem solved. The prescription is an oversimplified solution to a very complex problem. Obviously, the immediate symtoms have been dealt with, but in the  long-term, the causes of pain will eventually take over.

Perhaps a better postion is that technology must be a part of the solution rather than the answer. Mobile technology is only as good as the company culture and the established (or adopted) process in place. I think that is why Jay Steinfeld’s recent article at Inc.com grabbed my attention and resonated with me. As the CEO of one of the pioneer internet-driven companies, he points out 4 ways that technology can actually slow a company down and become detrimental to innovative company culture. For any company looking to implement mobile technology, his suggestions are certainly applicable:

  1. Stay cutting edge, but don’t forget the human side
  2. Don’t read the manual
  3. Ditch the helicopter had and get ready to sweat
  4. Find your own Penny and Brain (think Inspector Gadget)

For the full context, be sure and read the article here.

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