Following a technology agnostic approach means that as a business you are unbiased towards the use of any specific technologies to solve your business problems.
In essence, it supports the notion that there is no one single fit for a particular problem and that there are of course many ways to skin the cat (so to speak).
But why is this important? Because at the end of the day, finding the right fit solution is key.
To do this you first need to understand your business problem or opportunity, the solution requirements and your user needs. Once you know what is needed and expected, you can overlay your requirements with various technology options to fulfil them.
One of the biggest traps is to decide on the technology or software solution before really understanding what you need it to do for your business. It may be tempting to go with technologies that your team is familiar with or to choose a sexy technology that you think will be useful. But by going this route you’re actually putting the cart in front of the horse. You’re also limiting your solution to what your team knows and not looking at broader possibilities.
If you choose to go with the familiar, it may save you money in the short term seeing as you have all the needed expertise and your team could roll out something in a shorter time period, but what if your solution doesn’t match up to user expectations and ends up never being used? You have to weigh up short-term savings against the risk of system rework and redesign costs over the long run.
Another flawed approach is to invest in technologies that are popular or bleeding edge. Yes it’s nice to be seen as the company that’s keeping up with current trends, but have you considered whether you’re actually fulfilling your system needs in a cost-effective and practical way? It’s easy to get carried away with what your competitors may be doing, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the right answer for your business.
While there is great value in having a technology strategy and ensuring that new technology solutions align with this strategy, remaining technology agnostic allows you to keep an open mind while you assess the pros, cons, strengths and weaknesses of various solutions. A well-considered solution design ensures that your technology preferences are not dictating how to solve a problem, but that the problem is driving the technology choices instead.
You have to ensure that your team is able to look beyond simply applying a particular technology. Instead it is important to take a step back and question why and when it makes sense to do so.
It’s simple really: To avoid potentially costly technology or vendor lock-in decisions, go back to the basics by properly defining your problem first.
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