Selecting the smartest technology solution to your business challenges does not always mean grabbing the latest “shiny object”. Technology evolves fast and opens exciting opportunities. But what do you really need?
As managers and business owners we are confronted with never ending applications of new technology. It is only 11 years this month (June 2018) since the release of the first iPhone. This new technology has become increasingly more sophisticated, expensive and difficult to keep up with; iPhones, iPads, tablets, GPS and so on.
Many of us have become so intoxicated with all this new technology – its speed, power, gadgetry, and the potential to solve our business problems, that we neglect to solve problems in a simple and cost effective way.
The Expensive Way Or Zero-Cost Solution
In the 1960s the Apollo program space astronauts found pens that would not work in space due to weightlessness. Due to “this problem”, NASA spent tens of thousands of dollars to develop a space pen. However, the Russian cosmonauts solved this problem by using a pencil! Although this is an “urban myth”, it does illustrate the need to try and solve problems in a simple, practical and cost effective way.
Slow Complex Technology Solution Or Fast Down-to-earth Way
In the first Gulf War, the fleeing Iraqi army set fire to hundreds of oil wells creating an environmental disaster. To ‘solve’ the problem, the Kuwaiti government called in Red Adair the famous Texan oil fire expert. Adair came up with a complex technique of explosives to remove the oxygen from the flames thereby putting out the flames; that was complex, costly and dangerous; and it would take many years to complete.
Confronted by the time and cost, the Kuwaitis used a team of Bulgarians. Their solution was simple, practical and cost effective. Using large bulldozers driven by men in fire resistant suits, they covered the burning oil well heads with sand; that only took a fraction of the time and cost compared to Red Adair’s solution.
Get A Cost-Effective “Horses-for-courses” Technology Solution For Your Business
In my previous logistics business, we used up to 15 personal computers in each warehouse. The cost of purchasing new computers was significant. Instead we purchased second-hand refurbished computers for less than 15% of the cost of new computers. New computers were not necessary, and the harsh warehouse environment tended to ensure a short life for a computer anyway.
This was the perfect solution – cost-effective and practical and not using the latest technology. It is not about “doing it on the cheap”; it is about getting the smart solution and allocating funds and resources where they deliver the best result for the business.
So, if you are confronted with a problem with technology – STOP AND THINK! Can the problem be solved simply and cost effectively without the latest technology? Can we avoid unnecessarily complicated and expensive solutions?
Consultants in The Network Of Consulting Professionals have a wide range of technical and practical expertise; they can solve technological problems, cheaply and effectively, taking a comprehensive approach to helping you eliminate the blockers to your success.
So don’t suffer the consequences of Henry Thoreau describes as: “Men have become the tools of their tools”. Get in touch with your business advisor from The NCP.