Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Technology: spoilt for choice

Today the team has spent half a day carrying out some internal account planning to work out how best to support a major client, keeping our communications and collaboration tight to hold down costs and maximise our effectiveness. We began with brainstorming and rapidly came up with quite a list of all our business-as-usual, current and future planned activities that we need to coordinate. The problem then become one of how to stay on top of all this activity: OneNote, Excel, SharePoint, Project, or mind-mapping software or one of a host of other tools... Including paper.

Yesterday I had a meeting with a client and spent a hour trying to understand his business needs and then helping him to work out the best technology fit that will work for him.

Even as private individuals within the household we now have to work out whether to use Google Calendar, the Calendar app on our iPhones that syncs through Apple iCal or some other alternative.

Increasingly we all have to know enough about technology to make rational purchasing decisions and intelligent deployments. Normally each option comes with costs, benefits, and occasionally "gotchas" that mean you are painted in a corner you don't want to be in.

Yesterday I told my client he needs to know enough about technology to know he's getting value for money and the right solution ion for his needs. But he needs to trust our team to do the best for him with our specialist expertise.

And I'm reminded of a recent ironic tweet from someone who claims he daily gives thanks for IT complexity because it's kept him able to pay his mortgage for twenty years! Looks like at least that aspect of the future is secure, even with the proliferation of "easy to use" consumer devices!