Technology is a tool, not a destination.

In the past week I’ve seen two different business leaders ask the exactly the same question on LinkedIn and it’s one that we are frequently asked by clients – what’s the best CRM (Customer Relationship Management) / MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) / <insert business process here> application?

We also get asked this from a hardware perspective too – what’s the best video conferencing platform, multi-site collaboration tool, laptop, the list goes on…

In our fast-paced world of continual change we’ve lost sight of the fact that technology is a tool that helps us achieve things faster, to a higher quality or in a way that we weren’t able to before. We also fail to consider that in an era of almost infinite choice, what is best for one person may not be best for us or our organisation.

So whilst sales and marketing engines continue to tell us their solution is best for us, why not take a step back and challenge the assertion?

Business leaders – define how your organisation works (your business processes), who needs access to information (role definition) and how they want access to it (does everyone sit at a desk with a workstation, will they be stood in a collaboration space or do they need information available on mobile devices?)

Educationalists – define how you want learners to learn (pedagogy), how you want them to access and manipulate information (researching text data or watching videos and rendering 3D models?) as well as the environment you want them to do it in – individual research in a classroom or library or as a group in an immersive learning environment?

Once you’ve defined why you want to change how you’re working, how you’re going to do it and what technology you need become incredibly easy to define.