What’s the bestselling car in the world? The Toyota Corolla—39 million sold through April 2012, according to Toyota Motor Corporation. And it was the first car ever to achieve $30 million in sales. What’s so special about this less than spectacular, non-luxury, at best average ride? I have to believe its combination of value and price meets the needs of lots of drivers since it’s been selling well for over 40 years. What I’d like to know is what do all those first-time Corolla drivers buy next? What happens when a family outgrows its compact car? Or the kids get a dog and Dad buys a boat?
There’s nothing wrong with an average car until it no longer meets your needs. The same thing holds true for the technology that supports a business, as long as generic is all you need. But if you want to do something with your business—grow more competitive and profitable—then your technology requirements must also be purposeful. Generic is no longer good enough.
So how do you figure out what you need? How do you make sure that technology supports your business?
First, take a lesson from that compact car driver who now also owns a boat. When he comes to his senses, he’ll probably do some research to figure out what he needs in terms of capacity and power in order to safely tow his boat. He’ll talk to other boat owners about features and consider his options before heading to a dealer with a list of requirements. A smart buyer won’t buy what the dealer has to offer unless it meets very specific needs.
Likewise, you do not want to engage in a discussion about buying a new server or software with a tech company, consultant or managed service provider that sells hardware or software as you’ll get what they have, not what you need.
You are far better off to partner with a services provider that isn’t in the hardware and software business, but is in the business of helping growing, successful companies define and understand the technology requirements that will fully support their goals. When it comes to putting your business strategy into action, technology can make the difference between average and spectacular.