Several years ago there was a phenomenon in the business world called technophobia. While computer technology was advancing many businesses and people delayed buying computers or peripherals because they knew the price would soon be going down or new technology would be coming out soon.

It was actually a type of paralysis. Advanced technology was all around but they were afraid to embrace it. Not only were there price issues and fears of obsolescence they were afraid of the cost to train or hire necessary people. Maintenance costs were an issue.

Today we have a slightly different challenge. Much of business has caught technophilia. Administrators are driven by buzz words like computerized and paperless and promises from stuffed shirt sales teams and analysts. Executives often focus on a single issue while overlooking the overall effectiveness of the system. With the advancement of computer technology the market has been flooded with opportunists. They have learned from the technophobia of the past and their selling points pass over some of the valid concerns of that era.

Companies are now locked into maintenance of systems with only limited savings. They have difficulty finding employees that can work with or maintain the systems. Many of them have trouble knowing what the issues are. And you may be hard-pressed to find a company that isn't planning for even more investments in systems. Then there are the multiple layers of management that will go along with whatever they think will make the execs happy.

The technology is available but the costs vary widely. You can get a lot of useful tools without spending a fortune but there are experts and consultants that will be glad to supersize it for you and do it in 60-90 days. And because the company is a national company or worked with a national company they don't have a second thought.

It will be the prudent company that thoughtfully does their own cost analysis rather than accept the promises of the account representative. It will be the smart company that carefully draws out a plan for development and deployment that monitors effectiveness at every step. It will be the wise company that considers the human element. Technology is just a tool not unlike a hammer. You can build with it or you can destroy with it.

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