For a consumer, who directs their own purchasing behavior and exercises full control over whether or not the latest and greatest technology is better for them then last year’s purchase, the decision is an individual one. How does one position this strategically within a business setting rather than in a personal setting?
Keep the technology decision an individual decision. The business strategy needs to revolve around delivery of information and collaboration capabilities platformed as generically or as technologically agnostic as possible. Technologically agnostic? Yes – build capabilities around open source or extremely broadly available technological capabilities which are as independent of specific hardware implementations as possible. Good implementation examples of this are Dropbox or SugarSync – applications which at their core provide value by synchronizing information across platforms. These applications work with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices. Of course, this is a very leading example, but if the concept is applied to information delivery and collaboration, the technology decision can be left to (and funded by) the individual and the strategic dilemma of the consumer product life cycle can be diffused.