Dear Techlife,

My organization bought a piece of technology that is cumbersome and hard to use and really takes an expert which we don’t have on staff. If we could use it correctly it would make life easier and improve our bottom line.

I think we made a mistake as do many other co-workers and partners. It is the industry standard but maybe not a perfect fit for us. Can we just cut bait already and move on?


Troubled by Tech

Dear Troubled,

Techlife is one facet of work and life, but these days there are many vying for attention in this ever faster world we inhabit. Sometimes it is easy for people and organizations to get swept up on the crest of a wave, riding the technologic marvels created for consumption. Often technology claims of better, faster, stronger are planted right along side. But as our headline asks, is this always true or would people have us believe we do function in a vacuum devoid of all other forces?

We encounter examples daily of clients and prospects who were oversold. It reminds me of the elementary children’s problem.

A child just finished a big dinner, and someone asks them if they want ice cream. There’s always room for ice cream, right? If the child was asked would you like a small or large portion, 99% would reply, LARGE! They likely would eat the size small portion but not finish the large.

Yeah, so what? Well this happens everyday in business. People are sold more than they need just cause it is a good deal or the buyer thinks “…one day I might.” Selling the future promise isn’t wrong and is something every company is guilty of, even mine. It is compelling and often exactly what the buyer is looking to hear.

Your organization paid for a system that is “state of the art” and “top of the line”, but the question that is not asked anymore is “should we have paid for it?” This is a cause of frustration when a high priced expert is needed to make even slight modifications. We call this a legacy system.

Even though this system is not very old it weighs down the employees, customers and partners of any organization. Employees are reluctant to admit a mistake of financial magnitude while the technology is blamed for being hard to use.

We review technology and marketing decisions all the time for clients. (feel free to ask us.) It isn’t easy to “cut bait” from a previous decision and move in the new direction, but often times the short term tantrum of the child who wants more ice cream is rewarded with no belly ache later on.

And sometimes it’s just nice to have ice cream.