Katie Bascuas is an associate editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC.
American College of Healthcare Executives CIO Kimberly Mosley, CAE, on how to vet new tech tools.
Technology should support the organization. It should stand on its own. It should be a tool or a set of tools that the organization uses to move forward to find new paths, to gain a competitive edge.
Organizations need to be on the leading edge, but they need to be careful not to be on the bleeding edge. You want to allow the tool to get fully vetted, and by that I mean make sure it's been in the field long enough that all of the early adopters will have pricked their fingers on whatever thorns exist in the product or tool, and the vendor has already addressed problems.
When people come to you and say, "I need this software" or "I need this tablet" or "I need this smartphone"—or whatever it is they're asking for—the next question should be "why?" Ask: How are you planning to use it? What is it you need to accomplish? What are you hoping this tool will allow you to do? As the IT professional at the organization, you should be able to interpret their answer and determine if that tool is the best fit for what they're trying to do.
Katie Bascuas is associate editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org