We forget the way things were. It used to be painful to get software developed to run part of or all of our business operations. The cycles were long and the tools for developers were not as convenient.
When you bought software from a vendor, there would be six month to year long release cycles. You had to wait for that CD to come in the mail and then reluctantly upgrade. Not everyone did it, but if you had enough pain around bugs and lack of functionality then you went through the process.
Software was managed differently then. Fast forward to today and the ease of creating, distributing and maintaining software is a world apart. We use cloud computing where the internet is the computer. It’s easier for vendors to take an idea and make an app from it. You can try it out and they can continue to be upgraded as you put it through its paces.
The hard part is not avoiding the bugs. The difficulty is nailing that sweet spot of ease of use and business impact. Your workflow and your team’s execution come into play.
There’s plenty of software out there for us to access. In many ways, we are spoiled. But this does not necessarily translate into success. That part is very much a human endeavor.
When you decide to introduce a new system, people have to change. If the design and flow of the software is not well thought through, then there will be resistance. This can kill the adoption curve and thwart an otherwise great intention to increase productivity, collaboration or revenue.
Success still comes down to the leadership and strength of vision of a team’s managers. There has to be clarity of what has to happen and how it should happen.
Things don’t just happen on their own. They have to be defined and chiseled away at with determination and persistence. You can look closely at many businesses and see the failings of implementation and execution with very powerful software tools.
Whether it’s a CRM system, ERP tool or customer service tool, the success will lie in the integration of process, technology capability and skillful leadership. Take out that last point, and things can die on the vine quickly.
So, here’s one way to look at things. All the technology exists for you to be successful today. Someone has thought about your problem and has created a tool that can help.
Many of those tools can bend and be shaped for your business. Combine a few tools and your process can work fluidly.
But the success will come from seeing the problem clearly, working with people and leading. Tools don’t work on their own. If you don’t bring it all together well, then success will be elusive. Many times, it could take months to get the system working right. But don’t assume its the software. There’s too much proof of software working right in other businesses.
No, instead assume that the software is just the start. The hard work starts with being a system builder and leader. Nail that and you can interchange many different types of technology without issue, thus proving the point.