With all the new IT technologies hitting the streets these days, how do you find the balance between the “latest and greatest” and those tools that actually deliver the results you need to run your business more efficiently?
Keeping up with new technology is vital. However, the success of the technology you choose hinges on the people who are using it. It’s equally as important to your company’s culture as it is to your vision and mission. After all, if it is too complex or cumbersome, or if it disrupts the workflow in a negative way, it won’t be doing you any kind of service at all.
The psychological pull of new technology
Sometimes the very idea of new technology is the most attractive thing about it. This is especially true if you’re in an industry that needs to be on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest. The truth is, however, that each additional tool in your tech arsenal should add value and solve a specific problem, not create more questions, issues, and chaos.
Just as barriers exist to new tech adoption, the opposite is also true: some people just have a compulsion to jump on the next big thing. However, the barrier that the new tech creates is similar in scope; specifically, if it is not integrated into the workflow and widely adopted by all stakeholders, its value is diminished.
Many companies invest a great deal in technology solutions but fail to properly train their workforce in how to use it. There also might be transitional issues and resistance to new processes, such as may be the case in industries like the legal profession, which is typically slow to adopt.
IT only holds value when it can be leveraged as a means to an end. Here’s how it can fail you:
- If the new tech does not improve or complicates a working process
- If users are not properly trained in its use and management
- If stakeholders are resistant to adopt the new workflows
- If the results do not return a significant ROI
- If it causes more problems than it solves
The last item could happen if you buy into an IT supplier that is not well-funded, or is not well-established. An example might be a medical office management suite that has all the bells and whistles, but is so expensive to purchase that the company goes out of business in a year and you’re left with no support, no updates, poor integrations with industry compliance modules, and having to start from square one again. The salesperson obviously did a great job, and now you’re stuck with a lemon that has a finite shelf life.
Finding solutions that work for you
If you are going to invest in new IT solutions, here’s a checklist to determine whether it’s a good idea or not:
- Does it solve an existing problem?
- Does it make your life, or that of any one department, easier?
- Can it grow and scale with you?
- Do the payment terms make sense financially?
- Does it facilitate and streamline current processes?
- What is the company’s reputation?
- Do they have a background in your industry?
- What are other people saying about them?
- Is it easy enough to implement that it isn’t going to disrupt your current processes?
- And finally – do you like using it, and will your staff like using it?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, maybe it’s worth a shake.
However, you need to make sure your entire team is on board right from the start. If your new IT is something that you are introducing into an established workflow, start small, and have just a couple of trusted employees try it out first and see how they like it. Accept the feedback, both the positive and the negative, and weigh your decision based on that as you move forward.
Otherwise, stick with what’s working. Or, if you need to modernize, or desperately need a solution to a specific problem, don’t always reach for the shiny new thing. The tech with staying power will still be there once you’ve done your due diligence. Take your time, do your homework, or ask a trusted business IT consultant like Greenlight for some insight.
Your IT gurus in Sydney and Melbourne
Greenlight ITC supports companies in Australia with technology expertise that spans the evolution of IT as we know it. If you are in need of new IT solutions to replace your legacy infrastructure, or are wondering how to get started with your cloud migration, call Greenlight today. Our technicians are passionate about what they do, and they’re here to help.