Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Technology is a panacea - Yeah Right!

What a day today has been, do you ever feel like it is groundhog day?  Get the feeling of Deja Vu?  Well that was my day today.

Perhaps I have been in this space too long, perhaps I am getting old :) but I am finding myself increasingly frustrated at how many times people say, "well why cant the system do that for me".... now I do have to think back to my University days here where my Professor proclaimed, a system is like a car, it can transport you where you want to go but you have to operate the pedals and the gears.  And a few years later, that is still very true; but why havent we as a community learned that yet?

Why do we still assume that "the system", can do everything we want for us, and lets be honest  users seem to expect this of almost every system, not just ECM systems.  Ok, wake up call world, technology is a tool - in the right hands it can deliver huge value to the business but in the wrong hands it can wreak havoc.

Over 20 years ago, Information Systems Practice textbooks were talking about the holy trinity of people, process and system as the core of what we have to look for when implementing information systems of any kind.  But 20 years later, we have forgotten that.  As users of technology we seem to have gone backward, waiting for the system to be the panacea, and in the RM space, waiting for the system to magically 'deliver' our perfect view of records management...and we surrendered our brains when?  Systems are only as good as the effort we put in, and in times of fiscal cuts, that effort is reduced consistently.  Now thats not necessarily a bad thing as it can focus the mind very nicely on what we want to deliver, but only when you acknowledge that the dynamics have changed.

And we are not very good at change, are we guys?  No, be honest, our organisations, our technology partners, and our advisors dont seem to be very good at managing change at all.  Perhaps its time we ditched the textbooks and got back to dealing with the real needs here, lets go talk to our team; our people, our users, our clients, our stakeholders.

Oh dear, Im being radical again arent I.

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