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IT technologies: Coasting the line between new and proven business tech

It seems like every time we turn around there is a newer, better, faster way of doing things in the business tech space. If you’re an early adopter, you are likely being hit by new waves of technology that promise to solve all your workflow, storage, and other sundry problems on a daily basis.

But where do you draw the line on new tech? And how do you really know if it’s going to deliver on its promises of greater efficiency, productivity, and value?

Keeping your tech current is absolutely vital, that’s a given. But it’s the people who will be using it that are going to prove its value, ultimately, and so it must align with their needs, wants, and skill sets to be an asset. If it’s too complicated, or if using it is disruptive to your normal workflow, you won’t be doing anybody any favours.

The psychology of next big thing

The next time you are hovering your mouse over a new gadget, app or software solution, the first thing you’ll want to ask yourself is “how is this going to benefit our mission, vision, and culture?”

Sometimes, the allure of new technology is hard to resist, especially when it keeps popping up in your feed. If your company is in the technological realm, you want to be on the leading edge of “new and improved”, but if the item doesn’t actually solve a problem or add value to your operations, you must ask yourself – do you really need it?

Finding the value in new tech

Technology only has value when it provides a measurable ROI. Before diving in, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the problem that it’s going to solve?
  • Is this “problem” really an issue for anybody but me?
  • Does this [new technology] add value or improve processes?
  • How easy will it be to implement and train staff in its use?
  • Will my employees be able to use it to its fullest potential?
  • What kind of ROI can I expect?

Another area you might want to look at is how well-established the company is. After all, you wouldn’t want to be left to your own devices if the solution wasn’t supported down the line.

If you’re buying into a “next big thing” solution from a new company, you run the risk of that solution becoming obsolete when the organisation goes under. For example, an office management suite for a niche industry such as the medical profession may work well and provide you with some slick capabilities at the outset, but if the company disappears from the landscape you’ll soon be left with no support and no updates. As new 3rd party payers and new laws come into play, you may be putting your patients and your livelihood at risk.

Finding technology solutions that work

If you find yourself drawn to a particular hardware or software solution, here’s a simple checklist to help you determine whether it’s right for you:

  • Is it going to make your processes easier?
  • Is the issuing company established?
  • Do they have a good reputation?
  • Is this solution scalable?
  • Can you afford it?
  • Does the company have experience in your niche?
  • Do they have great ratings and reviews?
  • Will it be easy to deploy and implement?
  • Will your workforce embrace it?

If you managed to answer yes to all of these points, you might be onto something.

Ensure your team is on board

With any new technology, a gradual implementation is the best way to go. Start small and deploy to a key portion of your team before performing a wider implementation. Choose team members who you know will give you honest feedback and use them as your test pilots.

Most software technology solutions will offer a free trial period. Use this time to decide whether it’s going to work for you. If it doesn’t make your processes easier, faster, more economical, or provide some measurable value to your team or your customers, maybe it’s best to stick with what’s working.

Bottom line: you should always take your time with new product evaluation and research. Choose solutions that have staying power over empty promises.

Allteks: helping you identify the best in new tech

Providing our clients with informed, unbiased advice on their technology solutions is what we do. If you are in the market for new technology, or if your company is seeking a future-proof technology solution, seek the advice of a trusted provider: call Allteks today.

 

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