Technology moves fast.
There’s no controversial opinion there. As consumers, we are constantly fighting off the urge to upgrade to the new tablet, the new home appliance, the new car. We constantly chase faster speeds, a higher capacity and, ultimately, greater heights. This chase is good for us, if sometimes difficult. See, the challenge is that we only achieve that speed, capacity, and height when we effectively leverage our technology, and use it to its full potential.
Since we use them for our own personal information governance, let’s use smartphones as an analogy for the technology we use at the corporate and enterprise levels. Let’s say that you buy that brand new Samsung with the huge screen or that shiny iPhone with the gold trim, except you only use it to make phone calls. You still use your old, paper-bound address book to hold all the phone numbers of your friends and family. You still use your pocket calendar to keep track of meetings and birthdays. And you still use the yellow pages to look up information for local businesses. You would be spending a lot of time doing things that the technology you’ve already purchased has made obsolete. There is no reason to wait to get home to look up the menu of that new Italian restaurant, anymore, because you have the internet in the palm of your hand!
Being in a customer-facing, consultative role in the information governance industry, I have become very familiar with this “Smartphone Syndrome:” people spend a ton of money, often millions and millions of dollars on software and hardware, trying to chase those great heights, but then never fully take advantage of it. A solution is purchased out of necessity to control rampant silos, implement a defensible discovery process, or comply with regulation, and once it is in place, all interest in it dries up. You can’t use an archive for records management, you need an ECM for that! You can’t review case data in an archive, you need an eDiscovery point solution for that! You can’t use an archive for analytics, you need an analytics software for that! After all, you have a phone and you only use to make calls, remember?
But phones can do more, now, and so can the solutions we use to manage our organizations’ data. Why stop at the old precipice of technology? Take advantage of the times we live in! The old solutions that used to (maybe) save us money have now moved into a territory where they have the capability to make us money! I’m not saying you won’t find limits in your current technology, because eventually you will. I’m just saying that once you test those boundaries, your ability to grapple with the latest and greatest will be improved. Get as much as you can out of what you have now before moving on to something bigger and better. In the long run, you’ll be better for it.