There’s more to technology than just technology
We often field inquiries from businesses and individuals regarding advanced technological solutions.
Whether it's hardware, software, telecommunications,or some combination of the three, folks always want to know what the best technical solution entails.
The first question, of course, is, "Will the solution solve the problem?" If the answer is "Yes," then there are many other things to consider.
First on the list of most folks is cost. Everyone realizes that cost is always a factor. Finding the balance between cost and benefit can be a tricky exercise.
Many folks, however, focus solely on tangible costs, i.e., "How much money am I going to spend?" In fact, there are several other intangible factors that should be evaluated when considering new technological solutions.
First, it might be the coolest thing since sliced bread, but is anyone else using it?
Products with larger market shares are more readily accepted. As more folks use an operating system, for example, it will be more readily supported by hardware and software products.
As a very simple example, that's why Windows will run on just about every PC you can buy nowadays.
A corollary to this is especially relevant to Hawaii. Does your solution have a local base of users?
That is, are there other people in your community who use the product and can then perhaps help you out if you run into a jam?
Sure, the Internet has made the world a smaller place, but there's nothing like having someone you can call or visit, in your own time zone, that can understand your pidgin accent, and appreciate the manapua or malasadas that you bring over.
Products from large corporations can also be beneficial. After all, a "lifetime warranty" is pretty much only good for the lifetime of the company providing it.
If you're at all concerned about the long-term viability of your product, then you might want to take this into consideration. Keep in mind of course, that the average life of a technology solution is typically shorter than most other products.
The downside is that products from large corporations tend to be less innovative than those from smaller companies. This is often true when it comes to information-technology products.
Geeks tend to like to be on the leading edge. To determine whether a technology solution is really appropriate, however, prudent folks need to examine these intangible factors. Only then can a true estimate of costs be ascertained.
is president of ISDI Technologies Inc., a Honolulu-based IT consultancy. Call him at 944-8742 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org