Spare us the anthropomorphism – infogov solutions are just tools. They’re neither good nor bad, transformative nor ordinary, effective nor ineffective. They simply are what they are.
We, on the other hand, project our own expectations and perspectives upon them and characterize them accordingly, even when we don’t prepare ourselves properly for their use.
A hammer used to bang nails into wood is thought to be a good thing. A hammer used to crush a skull isn’t. But in the end, it’s just a hammer. The goodness and badness is all us.
The same is true of any software solution you can think of, for whether it ends up throwing off business value – without which we would classify it as “bad” – is entirely up to us.
If we don’t do our diligence up front by first thinking through our requirements and our budgets and our timetables, we risk dooming our entire project to disappointment. Not because our solutions are no good, but because – just as with hammers – it’s not their fault if they aren’t used properly.
They are, after all, just tools.