Great Scott – I’m lost!

technology, sat nav, back to the future, delorean
Are you bolting technologies onto your business without stopping to think of a full rebuild?


I recently bought a new car. I say new, it’s a second hand workhorse, but ideal for what I need right now.

I did have an all-singing, all-dancing company car in my last job with enough gadgets to rival James Bond… I loved it!

My new car has none of these. The biggest change is the absence of Sat Nav. Back in the 1990s I wouldn’t have bothered with Sat Nav – I had never used it and didn’t know what I was missing. However, after a few years of having my route mapped out in front of me, I’d grown entirely dependent on it. I now seem to waste time taking wrong turns, pulling over to check my phone to clarify where I am or write down instructions that I can follow.

Thankfully, it was my birthday at the start of this week and I received a Sat Nav (phew, no more getting lost!). However, without sounding ungrateful, when I tried to fit the system into my car, it looked out of place. It was obvious it had just been bolted on and looked like Doc Brown had gone to town on the interior of my new (old) car!

Like most shop-bought Sat Nav devices, it’s attached to the windscreen with a cable draped over my dash (hidden where possible) and pulled into my 12v charger (which I was already using to charge my iPod – that’s not integrated either).

Now let’s say your established business (more than 10 years old) is my car. You can apply technology in the same way that I have done with my car, the problem is you are “bolting on” to your current systems, procedures and set up. It will work, but it won’t be as efficient or as effective as it could be. You’ll have wires draped across your dashboard, so to speak. Surely, if planning for long term success, it’s best to integrate the technology by replacing rather than bolting?

If you are running a relatively young business you are in a perfect position, you will have few legacy systems in place as you’ve been so busy growing your new exciting business. You may well be in a position to integrate technology without having to replace anything. In essence, you have a big hole in your dashboard waiting to be filled.

In both instances, whether you like it or not, we are moving into a technological business environment. Your business is going to have to gear up and prepare for it. All your systems will need to and want to “talk to each other”.

So, what do you do: prepare your business now to be a sleek efficient vehicle of the future or endure bits ‘n bobs hanging out the side waiting to fall off? I know which one I’d prefer