In the world of Business Technology, the word “solution” is overused and abused. If it weren’t so overused, it would still carry the same weight it did when it first took hold. The original idea behind the word was simple yet powerful: technology is not great per se, but only if it is used in pursuit of a fix to a real and palpable problem. Now, it is more often used to mean any “fix”- even to problems that don’t exist.
In the first instance, mavericks in the industry started referring to “solutions” to make a clear distinction between the array of technology and processes that fixed real problems and siloed products that on their own accomplished very little. The word “solution” forced technologists and business thinkers to blend their efforts and pushed technology companies to deeply incorporate real customer feedback (“borne of the battle-field”) into their product cycles. Talk of product gave way to analysis of business scenarios and the incorporation of technology into these scenarios.
The “solutions logic” had extremely important corollaries.
First, that a technology product’s “features” are less important to the buyer than the technology’s ability to quickly be enacted in order end operational difficulties. Most buyers of technology are not “power-users” and, as such, they are more interested in the “payload” of a technology than they are in its surface functions.
The second corollary is that the organization seeks technology when it has well-defined and articulated operational problems, not just because it’s “cool” to have “the newest” thing. Real solutions for real problems is the key. Bells, whistles, and bobbles were “nice to have” but not necessary or business-critical.
The technology industry ought to pay heed to the transmogrification of language that takes innovative ideas and waters them down with constant and decontextualized repetition.
We are in now in an era in which the fresh ideas of the last decade have also lost part of their luster through repetition. Mobility, Cloud Computing, Social Commerce, Digital Transformation, and Big Data are all very live, very organic ideas that evolve. But for most pundits, the mere incantation of these words appears sufficient.
At Akvelon, we take a very different approach. We don’t believe in trivially repeating industry cant or inventing solutions for phantom problems. We believe in “surrounding” the customer, and understanding context deeply. Our solutions follow real problems. They always have and they always will.
We are not alone in this but still consider ourselves rare. This is a clarion call to the industry to stop glorifying technology for technology’s sake, but only if it is put in the service of fixing real problems so that organizations can prosper and through them, people.