Technology is a tool for success. It helps you get to where you want to go quicker, more smoothly, or perhaps even to achieve a greater degree of success. But, it’s vitally important to remember that technology is still just a tool. It does not guarantee success and it does not magical bestow success to the user.

Technology does not guarantee success and it does not magical bestow success to the user. Technology doesn’t chose the goal—the goal chooses the technology. 

We each use several different technology systems every day – Grants Management, Conflict of Interest, Financial Reporting, HR Systems, Effort Reporting, the list goes on and on. And while each of these systems helps us to grow more efficient, the underlying premise remains–these are tools to help us achieve success.

When we start a new project or process, we often turn to the data and systems that are already in place to help us complete the project. Our nature seems to be in one of two extremes, either to (1) customize the system to match our existing process, or (2) to force our business process to match the out-of-the-box system. Either way, we rely entirely on technology to magically solve the problem. Too little attention is paid to the overall goal of the project, and to process-mapping the existing state.

All too often we become so reliant on our software we forget to focus on the human processes that surround that database. When you start your next project, be sure to remember the end-goal is the most important thing and you need to fully understand where you are now–and how you can use technology to get you to where you ultimately want to be.