Technology is amazing, inconceivably fast and immensely impressive when well implemented. Technology is ever evolving, dauntingly complex and potentially dangerous. At lower levels, for those into "the nuts and bolts”, technology can be impressively simple, easier to use as they mature and the theory remains static for longer than one would expect. It is at these lower levels where components can be changed, an application be configured slightly differently or installed in a different way which may impact performance, availability or it's technical function, but it’s role at a business level remains the same.
What makes technology complex?
Moving away from the lower tangible layers, technology becomes exposed to external factors, factors that for the most part must be accommodated and utilized if possible. For example, many a database was initially installed with a single use case in mind but now serves as the primary store for a utilities back end or part of a financial institution’s high-performance computing environment. Suddenly this once contained product has a central role in supporting numerous non-critical business processes. With more processes, increasing numbers of interfaces and points of contact between technology and the business complexity increases exponentially necessitating even more technology to enable us to design, operate and maintain functionality which realize simple business concepts.
What gives technology value?
With these processes come the numerous people that ultimately leverage them day after day and give the company its true value. Making sure people are happy and are in a position to embrace and reap the benefits of newly introduced technologies, is key to ensure success. It is key that this approach starts right at the start of any program.