When you run a business, solid decision making is crucial to achieving success. This goes from hiring and managing your staff, dealing with your prospects and customers, and procuring tools and resources that make your business possible. Today, technology is not only important, it is a major consideration when hashing out your yearly (or quarterly) budget. Let’s go through a couple of tips on how to make the best technology decisions for your company.
What could be the most crucial variable in the whole technology-procurement process, understanding how the technology you purchase will work inside your operations. There are a lot of cool technologies that are effectively worthless for your company. Their marketing will probably point out where you can use it and how it will save you money, but ultimately you need to understand where your technology fits, how it has value for your company, and how there are costs baked into expectations surrounding new technology investments.
So how do you go about hitting those marks?
The technology you purchase for your company very rarely is utilized by a single individual. As a result, during your evaluation you should look for perspective from the people who have the most to lose if the technology implementation goes sideways. That means receiving input from experienced employees, stakeholders, as well as management before spending a dollar on new technology. These perspectives can give you the best idea of what exactly needs to be done to improve the processes you already have.
One of the most important parts about implementing anything new into a business that already produces is to set realistic goals. Sure, to make big changes you must have some notion that this is the direction you want to bring your company, but even small projects can bind up productivity and cost immense amounts of money if they aren’t handled correctly. The old saying “You need to crawl before you walk” is an apt description of how to handle your business’ projects. Identify goals and create objectives that progress toward them; putting too much pressure on any deployment will be sure to have negative consequences.
Your business is putting in a new system that promises to enhance efficiency and boost productivity. Great. How is that going to work when 99 percent of your staff has never seen, let alone used, the technology that promises these returns? Technology typically just doesn’t work, it needs to be ushered in with security and usability in mind. If you expect to get returns out of an implementation without considering the costs and time in training and testing your staff, you probably will be disappointed about the return you get on your new investments.
One consideration many less-adept business owners don’t make is who they are dealing with. Sorry to say, not every business you work with will have the future of your business in mind when working with you. Sure, they want the sale, but if you get a vendor that doesn’t see the relationship as a two-way street, you may want to consider backing off.
Business owners need to listen to their instincts and have realistic expectations when trying to make technology decisions that will have an effect on the health of their business for years to come. At Computerware, our consultants understand that business technology is a tool that can be leveraged for great benefit if it is implemented and supported correctly. If you would like to have a conversation about the future of your business’ technology with some of the best IT minds in Northern Virginia and Washington DC, give us a call today at (703) 821-8200.