Technology Choices and Brooms

I often debate technical choices with colleagues and clients and I invariably always end up saying the same thing. If you took 2 brooms and stuck a label on the handle of one that read “Linux” and the second label read “Windows” – which broom would be most effective when you swept the floor?

Picking a technology has a lot to do with knowledge, and since technically we are still evolving it is difficult to make the right choices when it comes down to it. Sure some will argue that support, and how much industry adoption exists for the technology and who backs it up, but once you’ve put all of that aside there really isn’t much difference between what can be accomplished with “Windows” or “Linux” as an example. Sure the process and timing might be different but they are both capable of delivering business value.

However, some brooms come with a much higher price tag because the bristles and the handle are very special. In other words, the ability to sweep the floor is easier, there’s less friction, the handle and grip of the broom is natural and easy and you get the floor swept in half the time.

There’s an upside to that for sure. But we rarely notice the downsides. For example, easy has a cost. It allows many more people to learn to use the broom very quickly and then offer their services to clients. Easy means sometimes dealing with sweepers who have little to zero knowledge about the business process or project planning or scaling your business application to meet the needs of your business growth.

On the flip side, difficult to use technology also comes at a cost. Specialized knowledge is required to implement it so you’ll likely end up paying extra. Should something break or need to be debugged you would likely have to wait for this specialized IT company to have free time to fix it so you’re dead in the water until time permitting they can get to it.

I could go on and on making the argument that picking technology is simply a broom vs a broom but I think I’ve made my point. Picking the right technology should not be driven by ease of use or specialization. It should always be driven by the business outcome, value to your clients, and value to your business.

If you’re undecided about the direction you would like to take with your technology. Give us a call, we’re happy to discuss the matter with you.


Brendan Rehman

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