Technology is an Enabler
First of all, what is an enabler? For good or ill, an enabler is something or someone that helps (enables) something to happen. Technology by itself does nothing. It sits there. A very expensive piece of software or a cute looking smart phone that does absolutely NOTHING.
Until a human being picks up the tool — from the invention of the wheel to the invention of the iPhone — nothing happens. A tool is only as good as the person using it.
The wheel is a prime example. A wheel can be used to power a wheelbarrow, allowing heavy items to be transported with relative ease on one wheel being pushed by a human. A wheel is the basis of many simple machines. Take two wheels, a large wheel rigidly secured to a smaller wheel or shaft, (called an axle) and you have a modified lever. It is the two wheels, the wheel and axle that allows a car to travel many miles or kilometers an hour as the wheels turn and turn again, moving the car forward.
But without humans doing something the wheel is just a round do-nut that sits there looking pretty.
What is true of the wheel is true of every machine ever built, or which will ever be invented. People have to use them, and use them wisely for them to do anything at all.
Somehow when it comes to technology people forget it is simply a tool. Many people seem to expect technology to magically improve their lives.
Technology is not magic. It is just another enabler which can help only if we first examine what we need, how we are fulfilling that need today — and only then asking the question “can technology” make this job faster, more efficient, cost less to do — or somehow make me more money by letting me do this job faster.
I am a huge fan of CRM (customer relationship management). Yet 70% of all CRM implementations fail. 70% fail! Can we blame all this failure on the tools? Or are people expecting too much of the tool itself?
Everything starts and ends with people. CRM can be a fantastic tool, but you have to think of what your business does, and how you make money today. Then and only then can you even consider if technology can help you do the job better.