Monday, May 24, 2010

The Difference Between Business Tools and Toys

It’s all about tools. I don’t care if it’s hardware, software, smartphones, tablets or even a doohickey you plug into the front of the computer. They are all tools that help you accomplish a job. If they’re not tools, they’re toys.

Email is a communications tool. It helps you share information quickly with others. ERP/accounting software is a reporting tool. It tells you how much you have and where you have it. Smartphones are information and communication tools – they allow you to receive email, text messages, browse the internet, run apps and even make phone calls!

No matter what form the tool takes, it must still provide a benefit. When discussing technology, don’t talk about the tools themselves, instead talk about the benefits. Forget conversations that focus on gigas and teras. You don’t need to know the difference between a CRM and a BMW, but a tool that helps track the sales cycle and your customer information is something that might be very useful.

As for hardware, don’t worry about it. All you need to know is new computers are faster than old computers. Tera this, giga that -- who cares? Email, documents, spreadsheets, reports, Google -- you only care about business tools.

That’s what too many people forget. These things are supposed to be business tools. From the computer under your desk to email to the accounting system. They are all meant to help us get work done - better, faster, with fewer errors and with maybe the occasional glance at something entertaining…

Don’t get caught up in names. CRM, ERP, VoIP. The letter soup is ridiculous. The real concern isn’t what acronym you are looking to buy; its how is this tool going to make your business smarter, faster and better than the competition?  That's the only question.

Too many people want to call your attention to the latest fad, the newest gizmo. Forget all that hype. All you should care about is:
  1. What is the tool?
  2. What does it do?
  3. How does it help?
 If it doesn’t help, then don’t bother with it. That was easy.

Louis Rosas-Guyon's FREE 5-week e-Course for Eliminating Tech CostsR-Squared Computing - Business Technology Experts
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