Technology—medical, social, industry, and everything in between—is a constant and often loud presence in our everyday lives. Generally speaking, business technology improves our quality of life. Imagine your job without computers, the Internet, instant messaging, even the anti-glare coating on your eyeglasses. The rapid rate of innovation and technological change also poses challenges for businesses, especially small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). As an SMB owner, how do you know when—or whether—to make changes to your organization’s technological footprint?
To answer that question, you need to understand what drives the need for technology change in a business. Consider these three points:
- New applications for existing technology. The world’s inventory of technology is large and growing. A change in business technology may mean a new way to apply what you have rather than making a change to the core technology.
- New technologies spread quickly. A technology that may once have seemed a luxury can become an everyday necessary. The personal computer is the most obvious example. Early adapters often reap the biggest rewards.
- Larger market sizes. As markets grow, they increase the incentive to introduce new technologies. The larger the market, the greater the payoff for innovations.
What Drives Change in Today’s Business Technology Environment?
Many of the technological advances in today’s businesses focuses on three areas: (1) streamlining efficiency, (2) expanding customer reach, and (3) securing company data. Businesses need:
- Technology that engages customers;
- Solid cyber-security;
- Secure payment systems; and
- Streamlined document and customer management.
Regardless of your industry, adding business technology is no small undertaking, however. So, before you make significant technology changes in your business, ask yourself a few questions:
- What are the risks and rewards? Consider how well and to what extent the new business technology will integrate with your existing infrastructure. Ease of use for your employees and customers is another factor. If something goes wrong with the new technology, will your company be able to recover?
- What’s driving the change? Any improvement you make should address a need. If you’re going to invest in new or expanded technology, make sure there’s a business case for that investment.
- Will the technology stand the test of time? No one can be absolutely certain that the chosen business technology will still be viable in the future—after all, technology changes in the blink of an eye—but to the extent it’s possible, assess whether the new technology can withstand the pace of change in the world and in your industry.
Planning for Business Technology Change
When you’ve determined that you’ll add to your SMB’s technology infrastructure, the next step is planning for that change. Start by determining the impact the new technology will have on your company. Will it increase profits? Make your employees’ jobs easier? Improve customer satisfaction?
For help answering these questions, it’s a good idea to seek additional guidance from outside your organization. A trusted third party like All Phases IT can make the transition easier. Joe Black of Colorado-based 5280 Contract Flooring did just that:
“I recently approached All Phases IT because we needed help expanding our capabilities . . . to become more efficient. They not only helped with my initial needs but their attentiveness and professionalism is unmatched by any other IT company I have worked with in the past. They were able to meet all my requests in a timely manner with very little disruption and down time. . . . I would highly recommend All Phases IT to anyone in need of technology assistance.”
If you’re looking for a technology partner for your business, contact All Phases IT today for a complimentary consultation and evaluation of your needs and goals.