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Kiwi businesses cornered by "magpie syndrome" as vendors push products

Kiwi businesses cornered by "magpie syndrome" as vendors push products

“Some vendors will try to sell you every shiny new technology solution because of all the cools things that they can do..."

The complex and disruptive nature of the modern information technology (IT) environment is leaving many New Zealand business managers and directors bewildered by an overwhelming array of solutions.

That's the view of Simon Wickham, CEO of West Auckland community owned The Trusts, who believes the risk of too many choices is that technology is becoming an end rather than a means.

Local organisations, such as The Trusts, have found that among the new IT challenges facing them was a sense of missing out on the effectiveness of the systems that were already in place, and a lack of certainty around whether those systems were being properly utilised.

Consequently, Wickham advises businesses to avoid the magpie syndrome.

“Some vendors will try to sell you every shiny new technology solution because of all the cools things that they can do, and what you might be able to do with them, rather than measuring it against whether it is fit for the purposes that you need it for," he claims.

“Recognising this and getting to grips with it has helped our organisation develop and implement the right IT tools for the right purposes."

Auckland based IT support, consulting and software development company Designertech recently launched an information management consulting division called Frank.

Designertech CEO Ray Delany says many organisations soldier on with whatever IT infrastructure they have because they simply do not know enough about the alternatives.

“Technology has become a noisy marketplace with vendors promoting their IT products and applications on every corner," he says.

Read more: Xero remains optimistic amid $NZ35m loss

"The rate of development also means that quality is an issue with many solutions, let alone whether they can do the job the organisation needs from them.

“New Zealand companies are encouraged to be wary of being seduced by all that glitters, and instead focus on what their priorities are, and an information strategy that will help them achieve the most practical business outcomes possible."

Delany says technology should "never be an end in itself". By operating as a client’s de facto chief information officer, Delany says Designertech are in a position to manage a client’s vendors and make recommendations on the best way forward for a company, from a practical business outcomes perspective.

“By developing a comprehensive capital and operational expenditure budget with the client, Frank helps companies spend more wisely, rather than spend up – it’s about bringing a large enterprise capability at an affordable price,” he adds.

Read more: Chris Liddell named Xero board chairman

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