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The fear (and necessity) of change in business

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The fear (and necessity) of change in business

The one innovation that I love above all others in our computer culture is the App. I’ve been lucky in that I have worked all my life for information technology firms, and I have always had access to more software applications than I can shake a stick at. There’s something inherently fun about running an application for the first time, to see what some bright developer has come up with to save me a little time, or to help me organize my life.

On the other hand, there’s my wife. She sees technology basically like others see a hammer – it’s a tool to get a job done, and really, when you have a good hammer, why look for another one?

The problem is that problems change – they morph in new and devious ways to prevent you from reaching your objectives. And many times, they are not hammer-suitable – you’ve got to adapt your solutions to meet the problems.

And that’s the trouble with most businesses. They get stuck in age-old ways of doing things, and apply those age-old remedies to new diseases, content to solve part of a problem.

And why is this? Is it because the cost of change outweighs the cost of leaving well-enough alone? Or have they simply become so tied to routine that change is seen as a threat?

Whatever the reason, I believe that this is the biggest challenge to those of us in the paradigm-shifting business of selling business information systems. Even if something is demonstrably better than what currently exists, there are still many hurdles to jump, and the participants are not always interested in jumping.

But without a regular re-evaluation of your business, how do you know you’re still meeting the needs of your customers, and future customers? Just because you haven’t changed doesn’t mean that your clients, your competitors, the legislative landscape, even the cultural standards that seemed so rock-solid, haven’t. And because everybody can’t be expected to be an expert on everything, it’s actually very good business to seek out professionals who can provide guidance, assistance, and new solutions.

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