Technology vs. Problem

Chicken & Egg – Which comes first? 

Problem First

Typically, a company spends money to solve some kind of problem.  They buy a new computer because they are short of compute power; They buy additional disks because they are out of storage space; They buy new software because either they need more for a new employee or there is an application that they don’t have but need; etc.

Following this logic, the Problem comes first.

Technology First

Let’s say that I am a big believer in SOA [service oriented architecture] software.  I will be looking to use SOA wherever possible.  My answer to any and every problem is going to involve some kind of SOA solution.

There is an old adage that if the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.  With a technology first approach, you are walking around with a hammer ready to pound on anything.  You could run across a Philips head screw – you have the option of pounding it in with a hammer or you could look at other technology, like a Philips head screwdriver.

My Thoughts…

I can’t stress enough that you must really understand the problem before thinking about technology.  Reviewing problems with a technology approach will put you in a position to make compromises in your solution.  And, a technology approach won’t allow you to really look at a problem from all angles – Angles where other technologies might comprise a better solution.

Many companies have adopted the tried and true ADCI process.  ADCI stands for analysis, design, construction and implementation.  Analysis should be done without regard for technology.  In the Design phase, it is appropriate to look at alternative technologies to create your solution.  Still, it would be wise to look at all technologies to see if a better solution is possible.  Construction – build the solution.  And, Implementation – Implement the solution…

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