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Getting rid of paper doesn’t need to be so hard

We live in an amazing world. Technology advances have given us things we could only dream about a few years ago. I remember wishing I could afford one of those expensive GPS units, as my inability to remember directions caused noise and conflict within the car. Now, almost everyone has one in their pocket. (The noise and conflict, continue, but for wholly different reasons.).

Companies that are now huge, yet are relatively young, have supplied technology that has changed our lives.

So why am I still seeing workers in the field filling out forms or dealing with antiquated technology?

Speed and progress is sacrificed on the altar of integration

Young and aggressive, still-growing companies are willing to push forward with improvements quickly. Conversely, the old guard mentality still exists in other companies that sacrifice improvement on the altar of ‘integration.’ Rather than accept and apply the new technologies that are exploding out of the consumer sector, they wait for their ‘jack of all trades’ central applications to slowly extend out and add the new capabilities.

Yes, we need to ensure integration. As an IT person, I understand this. However, this mantra has become an altar of worship for many established IT departments and that worship can be blinding.

Many IT departments have been raised on the waterfall process: where a project is exhaustively scoped, each step is performed, tested, and confirmed before going to the next. It is as well thought out as the Edsel.

“The winning companies grab bite-sized challenges and progressively build and implement quickly.“
Reid Nuttall, VP – Utility Solutions

They forget that technology is always a continuum with speed and progress on one end and integration on the other. There is a need for balance, and instead they choose to almost consistently sacrifice speed and progress at the altar of integration. They do not investigate enough to find a different option, and use modern technology for hosting, delivery, and other aspects of technology, while still maintaining the integrity of their data structure.

In fact, there is almost a fear for the simplicity that new technology brings to old problems.

The sweet smell of success beats the angst of waiting for perfection.

The old maxim ‘you shouldn’t automate poor processes’ is true. While automation will not fix a broken process, adding technology may dramatically improve a ‘good enough’ but not perfect process. And the sweet smell of success beats the angst of waiting for perfection.

The winning companies grab bite-sized challenges and progressively build and implement quickly.

Point solutions give quick wins.

Every company needs a good, solid backbone of a tested and integrated financial system.Suppliers of good, solid accounting systems want to grow, and be the integrated supplier of all applications for their customers.

Progressive companies have important decisions to make: Do I expand technology to help other areas of the business, and install a module from my ‘base’ application provider, or do I get the best available solution? Does the speed and increased capabilities of using a ‘best of breed’ solution trump the desire to have the base system’s supplier worry about integration issues? The answer is a point solution. It’s a quick win, and fully integrated solutions often provide better reporting.

Be progressive. Get paper out of the field. Free your workers from filing paperwork and handwriting the forms. Create more time for everyone to work on solutions instead of paperwork.

Connixt’s iMarq is one of those solutions. iMarq allows immediate success while still integrating with whatever backend system exists.

Whatever you do, don’t delay. The world has picked up the pace of applying technology for better, smarter, and simpler solutions that yield real results. You should too.

About the Author:

Reid Nuttall is a transformational technology leader and was formerly the CIO at ALJ, Oklahoma Gas & Electric and National Oilwell Varco.

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