Is More Software the Answer? Or the Problem?

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Like most companies, every month my company pays for a lot of business software.

Here is a partial list:

What is this software helping us do more efficiently?

And what is it preventing us from achieving? 

Well, through it we get access to the best thinking and "secret sauces" from the world-class domain and functional experts that designed all of it, and work daily to improve it over time. 

The best research minds.

The best customer relationship and database minds.

The best collaboration and project management minds.

The best accounting minds.
 

The best email marketing and social media minds.

And the list goes on...for just a few dollars per day we can access a software tool - and with the right customization to our particular business challenge - upgrade virtually any under-performing aspect of our business and make it world class. 

But the complexity of all of this software can also easily prevent us from attaining our key business goals.

Webster defines complexity as “the state or quality of being intricate or complicated.”

And anyone who has ever spent a few passing hours trying to understand or customize a piece of business software knows exactly how intricate and complicated it can be. 

However, it is in these frustrating “in the weeds” moments where we most need to step back and connect the dots back to the big values our businesses are all about.

The value we seek to bring to our customers and clients.

And our internal values - the enduring missions and long-term objectives we seek to represent and attain as organizations.

To the degree we have clarity in these two value dimensions, the tactical purposes and connectedness of all of our software will come into simple focus.

And when it doesn’t, we just need to ask ourselves two simple questions.

First, does the software help enhance the value, real and perceived, my company brings to its customers and clients?

And relatedly, does it increase the likelihood of us accomplishing our key long-term goals and objectives? 

Yes, it can be sometimes hard to drill down from the 30,000 foot nature of these big questions to nitty gritty software features and functionalities.

But it’s also pretty straight forward and just requires focused effort on a periodic basis - say once per year - to yield great results.

Less complexity, more customer value, more mission-driven work, more competitive advantage.

Yes, when it comes to business software it is our choice whether we painfully watch it enable competitors to pass us by.
 

Or learn to use it best to help us win.

What about your company? Do you feel your company’s technology strategy is helping you best attain your business goals? If so, great and congratulations!

But if you need help in identifying areas where software and technology can help you reduce costs and increase customer satisfaction, then complete this short questionnaire and tell us about 1 -2 areas in your business that could use help. 

And we’ll reach out with our thoughts to help you.

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