One of the most frequent questions I hear from business leaders and owners, is “how do you choose the right technology?”. Typically, there’s a thought process that leads to thinking about choosing a type of technology. At that point it’s either a big leap in faith, or the process stalls. Often leaders making this decision face anxiety of making things worse, fear of failure or business disaster.
Many struggle with getting the best of out of technology. Our guide, Business Technology: Essential Guide to Best Use, will help you create a robust process to ensure your new tech achieves your aims.
Start with the business
When choosing technology for the business, it might sound obvious but always start with the business. Let me put it this way, when I visit a DIY store, I’m drawn to the tool section. My eyes drift to socket sets or some other tool that catches my imagination. It takes me back to when I was a young kid and visiting the toy shop. I’d look at all the toys and drink in the shelves of endless possibilities for fun. Technology has an alure, it’s easy to buy, but that doesn’t always make it a good fit for your business.
Technology is essential to most businesses, but what’s right for one business might be wrong for another. If you’ve ever seen a car repair garage, you’ll see these hydraulic ramps that lift the car high into the air at the press of a button. For a garage business, it depends on that technology to make it economic and deliver the speed of service. Would it make sense at home when looking under the car once in a blue moon? Choosing the right technology must make economic sense.
Is it part of your business future?
Aside from the need to rationalize processes, you don’t want to throw out a solution too soon. A financial services business wanted a tool to support their direct sales. The concept was a laptop that a rep would use in front of the customer. The rep would collect information and provide quotes for recommended products. They spent a small fortune before deciding on a different direction and abandoning that entire channel along with the technology investment.
There’s no point investing in technology that needs rocket scientists if you don’t have rocket scientists. Some technology needs more expertise to configure and manage than others. Also, it has to work for the end user. If users are not mature in using technology, then it makes sense to choose something they can realistically get to grips with. Choosing the right technology involves every aspect of how it will work in the business.
Use the right tool for the job. It’s easier, quicker and you get a better result. It’s the same for choosing the right technology. Figure out what you want to do, and then choose the right tool. Because technology will be with you for a few years, it’s important to think about realistic future needs. That way, the business will have more headroom to grow.