ifacethoughts

Software Is Not The Solution

I know, this sounds hypocritical after drumming here about software as a solution theme for long. The underlying reason is that you should identify the problem that the software will solve before using it. This helps you get the maximum ROI out of it, which I think is the best proof you can ever get.

But software is not the solution! Maybe an example will help.

In a board meeting a company’s top brass realizes that they need to improve their communication with the customers. So they assign this task to a team, to take this ahead and get everything ready for it. 3 months later, when everyone except that team forgets about it, the next meeting brings up this to-do task. The team gives a presentation of how they have setup a blog and a forum. The blog would help the company give out information quicker and in a personal manner, and the forum would build a self-serving community, and how they would be part of the modern culture. Everyone is happy, it rolls out and another 3 months later they figure that the customers are still complaining about miscommunication, delays and lack of attention.

Figuring that they need to show something worthwhile to their customers, this time they hire a consultant (who is not the villian here). He spends some time talking to customers, to the blog and forum moderators, to the team that designed them and to the company people. And then he gives out the report saying that software is not the solution for them. It is something else.

Was the software a failure? The company did well with the blog and the forum software, but they still did not pay any heed to the customers.

If the software did anything, it was to worsen the situation. The communication tools got better, but the communication still suffered and customers got more frustrated. Instead of the phone, the customers were now lost in the blog and the forum. Software could only help them communicate with the customers, but they still had to talk and listen to the customers. The real problem was in their process and in their attitude. And software was not the solution.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
India
+91 9819820312
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