Buying Software Does Not Make Up For Lack of Strategy

I just read a great post by Paul Boag – one of his signature rants that I enjoy so much 😁

In it, he discusses how, quite often, purchasing new software can be seen as a magic bullet by business leaders that will somehow fix all issues they face without the effort of creating a strategy.

Of course, this is bullshit. As Paul rightly points out:

The truth is, no amount of off-the-shelf software can make up for a lack of effort or a lack of strategy.

Paul Boag, The Hard Truth: Software Cannot Replace Effort or Strategy

In my experience, it can be worse in certain disciplines or departments. Marketing tends to be a common offender in this respect. There’s so much marketing automation software out there that promises to do the job for you while giving you a ton of privacy disrespecting data on your visitors – that you’ll never actually use but it makes you look good to discuss the data you don’t understand in front of the business leaders…

So we end up with a lot of software, with a lot of data that no one who bought it understands, costing the business a lot of money to run, that doesn’t actually improve the bottom line for the business or understanding of your users. But hey, it does mean that people can pat themselves on the back about the new “solution” they implemented!

I should say at this point that I’m lucky enough to work in a team that understands that buying software is not a substitute for strategy or planning – because we design and build software for the business and customers. I have worked with plenty of teams in the past that are guilty of this and have seen it first hand many times.

Bottom line, the software is a tool, not the strategy.