Non-Operational Technology can be Detrimental to Business

Several years ago I attended a course at MIT with some of the brightest technology strategists in the business and some of the biggest financial institutions of the world.  We were asked, 

“How long can your business be non-operational before it has a detrimental impact to the business?” 

Without hesitation, the attendees (including myself) shouted out “Maybe a day, maybe.”  The task force of professors spent the next two hours talking about business technology, what its value is and isn’t for businesses among many other things.  All the attendees were polled again and it was amazing at the different responses given after some intense listening, note taking and silo discussions with our peers in the room.

Not one attendee responded the same.  I ended up with 3.2 days of consecutive downtime as my response.  That’s a far cry from “Maybe one day, maybe.”   A few of the largest financial institutions of the world responded similarly with their own, now more educated answers.  It leads me to one of my favorite views on technology. “Technology is not the end all–be all for a business.”  Yes, I know that’s a strange comment coming from a technology business leader.  My point is this. Technology is important, it is a business accelerator and it is hard to compete in today’s world without it, but it is singularly no more important than the Human Resources Department or the Operations team.  It’s part of the entire system that makes business grow and flourish.

How much down time can your business handle before it has a devastating impact on your business?  

Think about it...