I don’t know a lot, but I know this much: Technological advances are changing our world and everything in it — including our jobs, our organizations, and our professions.

Because of that, I also know this: A lot of organizations are making a potentially crippling mistake: They’re putting IT in charge of technology.

On second thought, that’s a really simplistic way of stating the problem. Here’s a better way:

Too often, IT departments are left to determine the technological strategies of their organizations on their own. That’s a huge mistake. Here’s why.

Technology does some incredibly cool things these day. Life-changing things. And we’re way too quick to assume that we must put these cool things to work in our organizations.

Just because we can, though, doesn’t mean we should.

Technology isn’t a strategy. It’s a means to an end. Technology helps an organization achieve its goals. It shouldn’t be the goal itself.

There are a lot of really cool gadgets and tools out there, and we’re seduced into thinking we need to use them all. We don’t.

What we need to do is ask ourselves a simple question: Will these tools help us achieve our goals?

“Technology is just a tool,” said Donny Shimamoto, managing director of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies and a leading AICPA technology volunteer, at the 2014 CCH User Conference. “Determine your business needs first, then choose a tool. Sometimes, technology isn’t the right tool.”

In other words, Shimamoto said, “a good IT strategy looks at the firm’s goals and envisions how IT will support that.”

Imagine that. IT decisions should be driven by the business, not the technology. “High-performing firms see technology as a strategic enabler,” Shimamoto said.

That leads to Shimamoto’s four keys to technology success. Technology, he said, isn’t about gadgets and gizmos. It’s about these four formulas:

  • Automated and efficient processes equal improved execution and profitability.
  • Improved work processes equal increased employee satisfaction.
  • Better workflow and project management equal reduced risk.
  • Higher quality of service equals increased client satisfaction.

Are your technology efforts centered on these things?

If not, maybe you’re not as tech-saavy as you think you are.

Want to learn more?
Donny Shimamoto will be among the featured speakers at the MACPA’s 2014 Technology Conference, scheduled for this Thursday, Dec. 11 at the BWI Hilton. He’ll be talking about IT budgets, essential mobile apps, and how to turn a tech team into a strategic partner. Get details and register here.

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