Does Extraneous Software Suffocate Innovation?
There is a cultural polarity between complete and free forming innovation and structure. Take, for example, a content management platform. A CMS is crafted to make things easier for quickly advancing businesses. In one sense, the CMS is there to make things less innovative. It takes the unlimited options of a small business and consolidates them. Instead of every option of organization and design, the company now has three or four. It becomes easier. But, does it become less innovative?
Another argument could be made that the CMS is the very thing that drives innovation. Companies now have a platform they can respond to. They can suggest changes. They can even spearhead changes. Innovation needs to fit into some framework, or else everything is wide open. Innovation needs an end goal, and to get to that end goal the culture needs a frame- a platform.
Software is everywhere, and technology makes that possible. Enterprise resource planning platforms, or ERP’s, are incredibly intuitive. Yet, they build a tightly knit framework around something that does not always need it. Even if the business does, is the ERP too restrictive? Is it limiting innovation?
Software-as-a-system is everywhere. An advanced website without a SaaS is criticized as being underdeveloped. Apparently, everyone needs access to a software system to enhance their brand. Now they need one to be ‘technologically relevant,’ and that is some troubling territory. The software could be an unnecessary distraction. Is it there to be a stand-in, or is it a relevant contribution to the business? Sometimes, it is hard to tell. Some companies can get away strictly with sales applications, and little else.
This steers into a bigger question about the virtue of technology. Yes, everyone (just about) has an internet enabled phone in their pocket. They can access the world with ease, and they are always two feet away from this vast connective tissue. It opens the door for innovation. But, when one looks at it this way, they miss a bigger question. Just because the option is there, do we necessarily need it? Innovation could be too restricted, and software sets that stage.