Technology Attention Deficit (TAD) refers to the degree to which your company chases new technologies and solutions only to move onto the next big thing. Using the description of an organization having an ‘attention deficit disorder’ means no offense to people who have ADD or ADHD which are serious a biological disorders that can significantly impair functioning. The description is used as a way to capture an organization’s behavior and what you may need to do to change it.
Here are 10 questions to help determine the degree of TAD in your organization:
- If you like technology so much that you don’t just have a copy of everything, but at least two of everything, then you may have TAD.
- If you are getting constantly invited out to vendor dinners, sporting events, and other appreciation events, then you may just have TAD.
- If your business leadership has to have the latest thing, if you have rushed into smartphone, tablet and mobility solutions and often have buyer’s remorse as soon as you complete a major project, then chances are you may have TAD.
- If those same business leaders have ‘buyer’s remorse’ as soon as you complete a major project, then there is a chance you have TAD.
- If business leaders forget about past failures, challenges, under delivery and poor business results, then you might have TAD.
- If your business leaders or IT sees that a new technology will avoid the past and fix your issues, then you probably have TAD.
- If a vendor cannot tell you how their solution simplifies your technical infrastructure, removing cost, resource requirements and improving quality of service, then you probably have TAD.
- If you do not have an inventory or your technologies and their connection to business processes and operations, then you are giving yourself TAD.
- When presented with a new business issue, if you always look for new technology rather than seeing where you may have solved the problem before, then you are actively promoting TAD.
- If your business cases do not consider time to market, implementation/operational risk, or operational cost, then you are encouraging TAD.
Avoiding technology deficit disorder is challenging. The Tech market exists to create TAD, as there is always a new new thing, a better thing, and a thing that your competition is using better than you are. If vendors were not creating TAD, then there would be no Gartner Hype Cycle, Commodity Clock, or other market frameworks.
The consumerization of IT further creates TAD, as individuals are consumers of technologies on the personal as well as professional levels.
Recognizing that you may have TAD is the first step; the next step is to put in place actions that manage attention rather than implementing draconian management controls or policies. How you manage technology attention is the subject of a subsequent post.
So is TAD real, do you know of organizations that have it? What are the symptoms?
Please be reminded that this post uses the description of an organization having an ‘attention deficit disorder’ as a means to highlight a management challenge. It means no offense to people who have ADD or ADHD which are serious biological disorders.