Technology is Neither Magical nor Neutral

By twitterlogotransparent | May 23, 2016

Original Article Published on

In most organizations, technology is neither properly understood nor managed. It is bought and it is used.

Management expect it to do magical things like improve productivity without them having to be in any way involved in managing it. In fact, technology is so magical that it is expected to do the managing.

Take content management software as an example. What happens, time and again, with this software is that organizations pay a lot of money for it, install it and fill it with lots of content. Often this happens as a ‘migration’ from the old environment. There is close to zero management of the content. In fact, in a great many organizations, most content isn’t even owned. Nobody is in any way responsible.

Enterprise search is the same. Organizations think that if they buy the software and point it at the content then it will just magically create a perfect index and that everything will be really findable. That, of course, never happens.

Traditional managers have tried to avoid engaging with technology for a couple of reasons. The first and most important reason is because they are afraid to reveal their ignorance. Most senior managers simply don’t understand technology and are unwilling to learn.

Secondly, because they don’t understand technology, yet know it’s powerful, they believe it’s magical. They believe they need to offer up alms to the IT department in the form of big budgets, because the IT department can make it rain and can make the organization more productive. Just like magic.