It’s no small secret that businesses (locally and globally) are embracing technology now more than ever. Technology helps to streamline processes, make employees more efficient, and even automate when necessary. But with all the options out there, and they seem infinite, how would you ever know which one to choose for your business and more importantly, when to implement it?
Here are six reasons to embrace technology now, and in the future:
1. Recognizing the need. At some point most businesses have the need to embrace technology. Recognizing that it’s a necessary component to your success is essential. It may not be obvious anymore but at one point in history the printing press, the telephony, and the fax machine were cutting edge technologies that made businesses run smoother and be more profitable. Think about what’s out there that can help your business gain more exposure or be more productive.
2. What segment of the business needs help? Are you implementing a new CRM system to maintain better customer records or are you exploring options with EDI to have better supplier relationships? Whatever segment of the business you’re trying to improve be sure the technology you’re selecting is the right fit.
3. Knowing the right fit when you see it. Try not to fall in love with one certain brand or technology system. Before making the decision to implement a new technology be sure to test drive all the models. Yeah, the new project management software has all the bells and whistles…but what if you only need bells?
4. What if you want the whistles, too? This is actually pretty simple. If you don’t need all aspects that a technology has to offer, when will you? If you’re looking at a CRM system that manages customer accounts and allows you to implement a marketing plan through digital and traditional formats but you only have the need to manage accounts, think about how far down the road you want to start marketing to your customers. If it’s in 1-3 years you may consider springing for the whistles too. But even better, the technology you’re considering may allow you to add on down the road so you won’t break the bank today.
5. Don’t forget to train your staff! Work with the technology vendor to develop a training plan for your staff. Whether it’s a simple platform or something complex, take the time to invest not only in the technology but the people who run the technology too. Ideally the technology vendor you select will already have a structure for training purposes that is easy to implement.
6. It all comes down to dollars and cents. At the end of the day just be sure you aren’t buying a technology just for the sake of buying it. Yes, we all need to embrace what’s out there and make it part of our competitive advantage but if Microsoft Excel is a fine platform to create project planning, by all means go for it.