The title of this ReadWrite article says what you need to know You’ll Never Really Innovate On Someone Else’s Cloud.

The article describes how tech companies that can’t specifically tune their servers give up the ability to truly differentiate themselves from other tech companies.

I couldn’t agree more if your technology is your core service offering, but what if you aren’t a technology company? How much does the technology you use matter?

I would argue it matters a great deal.

The question is which technology do you need to completely control and what technology should you let others worry about. Every organization is going to have different answer to these questions, but here are a few rules of thumb.

  1. Is it critical to your mission? - if you are a restaurant, the system your credit card processing is mission critical, your email may not be
  2. Are your differences benefiting customers? - every organization feels that off-the-shelf-software won’t work for them because they are unique, and in many ways they are right. The question is, are those differences in process translating into value for your customer? If they are not, perhaps better to change the process
  3. What is your internal capacity to maintain the technology? - if you don’t have internal capacity, how are you setting up a partnership you can depend on long term?

These are the sorts of conversations I relish having. Be in touch if you have any questions or want to talk through any technology choices your organization is making.