(Photo by Alberto Brea)

Technology isn’t the business disrupter. How we use technology is. I was reading the marketing blog of Bryan Kramer, whom I’ve met at various Dell Technology events. He posted this photo thinking about marketing and business.

Look at our business in industrial automation in the USA. Everyone complains about Rockwell Automation technology. Everyone (almost) uses it. Companies spring up with a new product. “It’s a great new technology. Blows Rockwell out of the water,” they say. Without debating the merits of technology, I always ask, “How will you sell it?” It’s not the technology only–it’s the business model.

I had a boss one time who kept wondering why our PC board wasn’t selling like Apple Macs. We had good technology, but it was getting old quickly. And Jobs found a market and a way to reach it. A cult following (I say as I type this on an iPad, checking in with my iPhone, with my MacBook Pro sittting at home not along on this trip).

Technology is a great thing. It’s not a recent phenomenon. Humans have been creating new technologies for millennia. What we need to do is contemplate the business models that make technology useful. Something that makes lives better.

Someone asked recently what I look for. Well, it’s cool new technology (which I love) along with some interesting use cases that show how people and businesses benefit.

It’s not the technology that disrupts. We have to train our eyes to see past the glitter and into the heart of the matter.

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