We have greater access to opinions these days than ever before. The Internet is built on expression—votes; comments; and videos long and short on every topic, with varying levels of emotion and expertise. And, while it may seem nothing is sacred to crowdsourcing, the knowledge and skill of a doctor is an interaction that most feel cannot be replaced. In fact, a lot of people don’t dare to challenge it.
First Is Not Best
We recognize that the process of evaluation, diagnosis, and follow-ups are personal, long-term relationships that are best when tailored to the individual. Doctor-patient relationships are some of the longest lasting relationships we have in our lives; that’s what makes it so difficult for patients to seek out a second opinion. In fact, more than one-third of adults don’t seek out a second opinion for a medical condition, and one in 10 don’t understand the diagnoses they are given. One wonders what those numbers are in the case of information technology professionals and their clients.
While integration is certainly not a matter of life and death, it is incredibly important to the health of an organization and its ability to compete in the marketplace. And, in many ways, we look at IT professionals just like we do doctors—they’re brought in-house because they’re indispensable for work to keep flowing. But business leaders also limit their interactions with tech experts because IT is an intimidating topic they might not fully understand and don’t want to look dumb challenging. The result is we often go with the first opinion or diagnosis and forego further explanation, thus possibly missing a better approach.
Patient advocate groups give advice that many companies can apply to their approach to integration as more informed “patients.” Do your research, get referrals, seek out a second opinion (or even a third), and know that there are lots of approaches out there. Be proactive about your company’s information technology health just as you would (or should) with your own. Just as any doctor should welcome the opinion of a peer, so should your integration partner. After all, it never hurts to get a second opinion.