“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 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 going rogue, adding MORE dysfunction to the mix.
The sales department is using Dropbox, the operations group has a Google Drive, and the executives just send out everything via email attachment. What should be a simple act of information sharing becomes a struggle. No one wants this, but how to you avoid it?
It starts with taking ownership of your technology strategy at a business level.
This is not something that can be left to chance or delegated without proper thought. That would be like choosing your controller because they are really good at Sudoku! Not a recipe for success.
Competency 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 simply 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!