Real Time Communications Featured Article

The Downside of 'Good Enough' Technology Solutions

December 10, 2015

One dirty little secret about getting things done in today’s technology environment is accepting “good enough.” A cloud service, hardware solution or business process might not meet all needs or perfectly solve a problem, but good enough is just what it implies: It is good enough. This is the grease that gets things done.

One cost of the “good enough” methodology is quality, however. Sometimes a technology solution might fill the need adequately, but it compromises and something substantive is lost. This is okay if there still is room for solutions that make less compromises for those times when “good enough” is not really good enough. Unfortunately, however, many solutions today are meeting the minimums but sucking life out of more robust offerings that make less compromises. The technology is getting dumbed down.

There are many instances of this going into 2016, as Tim Banting of Current Analysis noted in a recent blog post, Future Collaboration and Communication Vendors Haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Past.

When it comes to conferencing, devices with built-in cameras and easy to use technologies such as WebRTC are stealing the show, but vendors fixated on quality and specific video endpoints are finding it an increasingly hard market, according to Banting. The democratization of conferencing expands the use of conferencing overall, but it is slowly reducing high-end options make less compromises and are a better fit for some larger enterprises.

Premises-based communication also is taking a hit from “good enough,” as cloud-based real-time communications offerings are commoditizing communications. It is threatening established PBX vendors and solutions, and this is good inasmuch as it forced all vendors to simplify design and implementation. Premise-based solutions offer more control and customization, however, among other benefits. Yet this area also is being hit hard by “good enough” solutions.

The changing role of the IT department is a third example. The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend coupled with cloud computing has changed the nature of business computing. Now employees use personal technology devices and often select their own IT solutions, with IT following along as a guide and a security worrywart. Overall this might be good, as it moves technology solution decision-making closer to those who actually need them. Yet, it also fragments corporate IT and presents a very real challenge for security. Often the result is enterprise IT that is less secure than it should be.

None of this should imply that there is anything wrong with “good enough” solutions, or that this mindset is spoiling tech a little more each day. But it should make us pause. In the application of solutions that are “good enough,” are we losing the option of more full-features, comprehensive solutions that go beyond just the minimums?

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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