On the April 4 episode of my Lykken on Lending podcast, we had the opportunity to broadcast the show live from the MBA Mortgage Technology Conference and Expo. As I spoke with vendors and industry leaders throughout the course of the conference, I really got to thinking about what all of these new technology offerings have in common. And I think I've boiled it down to at least two things.
Each new technology developed by the vendors in our industry has some kind of practical benefit. There is a misconception that technology is all about attractiveness. We want things that are bright and shiny -- applications that have a lot of flair and are aesthetically pleasing. But I think this perception of technology is greatly exaggerated. The best technology options are practical -- they actually solve a problem in the industry. If the technology doesn't make the business in some way more effective or efficient, then it is worthless. So, the first key component of any technology is that it is useful.
The second essential feature of technology is its usability. A common problem with technology applications is that, while they may be powerful tools for making businesses run better, nobody can figure out how to use them! If the technology has too difficult a learning curve, training costs can be too high and buy in from the team can be too low. If your people find the technology easy to use, on the other hand, they will quickly and naturally adopt into their daily pattern of work. Technology has to be useful...but it also has to be usable.