Using Technology To Improve Business Outcomes

By Alan Olsen

Just about everyone loves technology. Technology is designed to make things better. Whether it’s a computer, a coffee maker, a washer and dryer, a smartphone or a smart car, technology is constantly changing and improving. The very purpose of technology is to make something easier or better than the previous way of doing it. Of course, not all technology turns out to be better than what it was designed to replace. There are many successes and failures in the realm of technology. So what about technology in business? How is technology used to improve business outcomes?

Technology Aimed at Productivity

Peter Adams, Founder and CEO of Lighthouse Information Systems Inc., visited with me recently and we had the opportunity to discuss several different topics, including technology and it’s relation to business systems. Peter told me that no matter what the technology is, whether it’s a pencil and paper or a super computer, it’s purpose “is to make people more productive, to enable new capabilities or to mitigate risk. Ideally it should be a combination of all those things.” These days if you take the time to evaluate how technology is applied in most situations, most of the time it is applied at a bare minimum level without the understanding of what can actually be produced. Peter said the reason for this is that people don’t have the necessary understanding of what they are trying to accomplish in business.

Making a Real Difference With Technology

In terms of the company he founded and still runs, Lighthouse Systems Inc., Peter said he is trying to bridge that gap. He said is trying to be “on the business side of the equation leveraging the body of technology that’s available to produce business outcomes for people.” Speaking more about his company, Peter told me that he wanted to make a difference in the world and that he hoped to really “shift the narratives around information technology to really being a tool for business.” Information technology is touted as a huge benefit to businesses and many people integrate new information technology into their business in order to become more efficient, to spend less money, and to have all the latest and greatest capabilities. However, the industry standard is not always up to par.

Using IT to Drive Business Needs

Peter said even though companies have these expectations that’s not what always happens. “All you’ve done is shift the cost around and IT becomes a big expense and a burden to the enterprise and not necessarily a net contributor to the bottom line.” Peter thinks that entire way people and businesses think about information technology is incorrect. His goal is to instead bring back the “business focus along with enough technology understanding to be able to drive the outcomes of business needs.”