Technological advances are constantly happening as new hardware and software solutions emerge to increase efficiency, organization and overall growth of your business, each with their own advantages.
With all these technologies at their fingertips, how can companies know whether or not the "latest and greatest" technology is right for them? To help with this decision, we asked a panel of Technology Council members what a business leader should consider before investing in a tech solution. Keep these 11 questions in mind the next time a tool or software solution catches your attention.
One of the choices we made for our next technology was to see how many people on LinkedIn had a skill in that technology. This allowed us to understand the scope of the technology. The technology you use should not be a technology that slows you down or makes it difficult for you to focus on your business.
Before we introduce a technology to be sold or adopted, we need to understand how well it solves the problem and to what extent. Most important and critical is how well and easily we can use it. If a technology is great but difficult to use, it may not produce the right results. It must also offer a good total cost of ownership.
We always research the technology first. Then we create a small proof of concept. If it works well, we try to use it on a non-critical application or on a client that can tolerate a small amount of risk, in case the solution doesn't work as expected and we need to rework it.
In the past we took a "crawl before you can walk" approach to new technologies. Now it is shifted to "run uphill as fast as you can until you fall over or reach the top". Either you fail fast, or you reach the top. Both outcomes are critical to the acceptance of new technologies.
Among the many rewards associated with the introduction of new technologies, there are just as many risks. Given the year-over-year increase in cybersecurity incidents, it is critical to carefully examine the security of any new technology you are considering. Does this new technology increase your organization's attack surface? Are existing proprietary systems and data at risk when integrated into your environment?
We examine whether the technology supports and drives our agenda to increase the value of AI in support and service functions. This applies to both our products and our technology infrastructure as a software provider.
Of course, technologies that enhance performance should always be considered. But equally important is whether the technology is accepted by the team and actually used.
It all starts with customer satisfaction, employee engagement and cash flow. If a technology helps move the needle in one of these areas and if you have the ability to use it effectively, it may be worth exploring a new technology.
Purchasing. Is it the best available? What substitutes are available that may be more comprehensive, already integrated with other instruments, or cheaper to buy and own. Consider the return on investment and whether it justifies the cost and learning curve.
Customer satisfaction resulting from the use of this new technology is a key factor in its introduction. We must always answer the simple question, "Is this new technology a big enough problem for the customer or user that they are willing to change their current behavior to adopt this new approach or technology? Answering "yes" to this question is crucial when considering a new technology in our organization.
Technology is just a tool that should ultimately solve a business problem. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the technology from a business value perspective. New technologies can be exciting, but ultimately there must be a solid business case - whether to solve a current problem or to exploit a market opportunity now or in the future.