Why The Enterprise Sucks

Looking over some of the past articles I’ve written for this site, I feel I’ve been missing our collective intention: to rant about technology. It’s in the name, after all.

In light of this, I will now proceed to moan about one of the most infuriating things (in my opinion, of course) about technology: ignorance towards it.

There is no better illustration of techno-ignorance than the enterprise—the sheer complacency toward anything with a microprocessor is rather staggering. Yet it’s the enterprise which should be the most interested in technology, and the scope it has for delivering improved productivity, higher profits and lower wastage is unbelievable. Yet, for the most part, those within the enterprise couldn’t care less whether Windows Mobile 6.1 isn’t the latest and greatest in mobile computing.

To clarify, I work in ‘the enterprise’ (although, I’ve never been fond of that phrase, it implies much more productivity and innovation than is inherent within ‘the enterprise’) so I have a vague first-hand experience of the laissez-faire nature of technology awareness that is generally found in the industry. You could say I’m behind enemy lines in this regard.

So, to get back to my point, why is it important to have an awareness of what’s happening in the technology space when you work in a professional setting?

I’m very glad you asked.

The enterprise, by definition, is about extracting the maximum amount of wealth from an activity as is physically possible,  for yourself or your client—or most likely both. Therefore, productivity is the buzz word we’re going to be thinking about here; making more efficient the activities that are making a profit, and cutting the frequency of the activities that are making a loss. Business 101.

How do we make our business more productive? Well, we can’t really make our staff radically better at what they do; that’s not where the innovation is going to come from. We can’t just go laying off people or charging more; that’s unsustainable. The only real space where innovation is going to come from is in the tools we use—i.e. technology!

As an example, if you’re in the retail business, how much more productive is the store going to be if there is a radical improvement in the software used to track stock levels & wastage? Well, quite a lot! More efficient stock monitoring and wastage management is going to save you money on logistics and replenishment. End of.

So why is the enterprise so reluctant to care about technology? Why do we live in a world where more often than not you’ll be sitting in front of IE 6-8 at work? Why is that seen as OK?

For the life of me, I can’t answer that question. I can understand how the prospect of updating software and machines can seem daunting; it’s quite a high-cost task. That cost will pay for itself, though, in the increased productivity the firm will see. So is this all just down to near-sighted executives?

Again, I’m in no place to be able to answer these questions.

My point is, the enterprise sucks. They use Windows XP, Blackberries, IE and more often than not COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF PAPER.

So, there’s my rant. Order restored?

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