October 04, 2012 - 2:17 PM
If two points make a line and graphically indicate a trend, then what do three, four, and six points make? A movement, perhaps an inevitability …
Over the past several weeks, I have had essentially the same conversation with multiple users, service providers, and even reporters about the need to deemphasize technology and take a more functional/business-oriented approach to process and information management. I've been preaching this gospel for many years, of course, but it seems to me that the number of people and organizations who understand it is on the rise – and that's a very good thing.
• It's good for organizations because it means they will end up with solutions that truly address their needs and return maximum total value (another of my favorite talking points) to them.
• It's good for the vendors because it means they will be selling solutions that their customers use to very good effect, and thus may wish to buy more of as time goes on.
• It's good for resellers, integrators, developers, and others who thrive in markets where companies wish to expand and interconnect the technologies they're using and take their infrastructures to the next level.
At a high level, getting there requires only the asking of two fundamental questions: “what business problem are you trying to solve, and for whom?” Truly! The business problem is the business problem and has been since time immemorial. The tools, on the other hand, change with disturbing regularity and increasing frequency. So why would you base your strategy development on something so ephemeral?
My consulting clients and classroom students will recognize this logic as the thread I run through entire initiatives to ensure the proper focus is maintained and the scope remains manageable. It also is key to developing a short list of the most suitable vendors or service providers because, properly injected into an RFP, it forces the conversation center on your issue and not their technology. And, of course, they stand as touchstones to use when evaluating the effectiveness of the chosen solution after it has been installed.
There are many ways to come at this issue, of course, so it's fine if you are using something different. But if you are, I'd like to know what, and how it's working out for you. So please comment below and/or drop me a line – the users, service providers, and I all would appreciate it!
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