Being comfortable with technology isn’t the same as being competent

“Those younger folks handling our technology, they know how it works,” says the business owner who has delegated all technology decisions to anyone under 30.  The next thing you know, there are apps for everyone, random one-off workflows, and no overall strategy.  Technology is everywhere but it is not supporting the business strategy.  People become frustrated and start rogue, adding MORE dysfunction to the mix.

The sales department uses Dropbox, the operations group has Google Drive, and the executives send out everything via email.  What should be a simple act of information sharing becomes a struggle.  No one wants this, but how do you avoid it?

It starts with taking ownership of your technology strategy at a business level.

This cannot be left to chance or delegated without proper thought.  That would be like choosing your controller because they are good at Sudoku!  Not a recipe for success.

Being competent is gained only with experience.  In his book, Outliers, Malcom Gladwell develops a theory that to master something, one would need to spend about 10,000 hours practicing.  It’s simply not possible for most businesses to go through this learning curve with internal resources.  This is why we hire people with COMPETENCE in business-critical roles versus on-the-job training.

The other reality is that there is too much change in technology to master it; you must partner for success.  This is why all businesses have accounting firms review their books, and consultants come in to help with big projects.  If it’s not in your area of competency and it does not add competitive advantage, outsource it!