Technology and Maturity

A recurring subject for me and many others is talking and writing about people, processes and technology including which one is most important, in what sequence they must be addressed and, which is my main concern, how they must be aligned.

As we practically always are referring to the three elements in the same order being people, processes and technology there is certainly an implicit sequence.

If we look at maturity models related to data quality we will recognize that order too.

In the low maturity levels people are the most important aspect and the subject that needs the first and most attention and people are the main enablers for starting moving up in levels.

Then in the middle levels processes are the main concerns as business process reengineering enables going up the levels.

At the top levels we see implemented technology as a main component in the description of being there.    

An example of the growing role of technology is (not surprisingly of course) in the data governance maturity model from the data quality tool vendor DataFlux.

One thing is sure though: You can’t move your organization from the low level to the high level by buying a lot of technology.

It is an evolutionary journey where the technology part comes naturally step by step by taking over more and more of the either trivial or extremely complex work done by people and where technology becomes an increasingly integrated and automated part of the business processes.

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2 thoughts on “Technology and Maturity

  1. vishagashe 6th January 2011 / 06:04

    Henrik,
    People process and technology is indeed a recurring topic. There are differing views and opinions in terms of what is important and at what stage?
    I truly believe that people are the most important asset and factor in making any process and technology implementation/consumption/usage practical and productive. People will make significant difference at any maturity level irrespective of implementation/optimization of processes and adoption of technology.
    Higher technology usage does not guarantee higher maturity levels as rightfully indicated by you. I think that we have to look at combination of “maturity/competency of people, implementation of process and adoption of technology for optimizing and automating business processes” as factor in determining organizational maturity. Ultimately company’s profitability, consistency in growth of revenue/profitability and long-term outlook will decide how mature the organization is?
    ‘Zappos’ is a recent examples which comes to my mind , which had an excellent business model and made itself very lucrative/attractive as an acquisition target, not solely because they had significant adoption of technology, but mainly because of the people and many of the processes which they had implemented in the organization. On the flip side, there are several examples from recent past where despite technology adoption, definition/automation of processes, people failed to raise maturity level of organization and ultimately, causing demise of the business altogether.
    My main point here is that putting technology adoption as one of the major factors in determining maturity is not fair in the services economy of today. We really have to have a composite look at all three factors put together i.e. people defining and implementing processes which have been optimized and automated using technology.
    My 2 cents

    As always, thank you for your thought provoking blogs and contribution to the field of data quality/data management.

    Vish Agashe

  2. Henrik Liliendahl Sørensen 6th January 2011 / 07:19

    Thanks a lot for the excellent comment Vish. I agree that (until the day the robots takes over :- ) people will always be the deciding part.

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