Great Technology Doesn’t Replace the Need for Great People

March 29, 2016

From marketing automation to the Internet of Things, technology breakthroughs continue to push the envelope. On any given day, you can read about some new high-tech idea designed to improve the way we work, communicate and get things done. For someone like me whose work and career has been shaped by a lifelong passion for the opportunities and possibilities of technology, it’s exciting to see the rapid transformations and new developments on the horizon.

But as flashy or groundbreaking as any new system or solution is, technology is still only a tool. It can’t deliver on its promise without a good strategy behind it and, most important, people—people who are engaged, curious and committed to using the technology and who care about the outcomes it can achieve, not just the “wow” factor.

Your CRM is a good example. It’s a place for information, a starting point; it’s not an end-result in itself. If people don’t use it consistently and effectively, then it can have the most cutting-edge features available and you still won’t fully benefit from it. And if people don’t understand what problems it needs to solve, then you could very well be wasting huge amounts of time, money and effort. People up and down the continuum have to understand the broader picture, their responsibilities, where they fit in and how they can contribute.

In other words, great technology doesn’t replace the need for great people. And this is a good thing! When I think about what originally drew me to Salesforce—and what inspired me to establish Virsys12—it was the opportunity I saw to give people the technology support that would allow them to focus their energy on what they do best. That’s how they can make the biggest impact with their organizations, customers and colleagues. Ultimately, technology in general and Salesforce in particular are serving their best purpose when they’re helping people work more productively and making processes run more efficiently.

No matter what the “next big thing” is in the world of high-tech, the implications of any technology implementation are decidedly people-focused: it stills boils down to who you hire, how you train and how you work with your customers. With great people, great technology will be the tool that enables your organization to track progress and make better decisions so you can get better results—whether you’re working to make our cities run better, improve the health of our communities, address your customers’ challenges or bring needed non-profit services to those who depend on them.