The business landscape is always changing and so is the technology used for running your business. Constantly evolving technology brings forth new solutions that are sometimes more efficient and cost-effective but you do not always need a brand-new solution or an upgraded tool for your business. While technology has generally made things cheaper but adopting a new tech usually involves a lot of money. This is the reason we decided to probe members of the Forbes Technology Council to help business owners figure out whether they need to get a particular tool for their company. Here is a list of some of the factors these members have determined to be important enough to be carefully considered when making the decision.
1. Fits Your Strategy and Culture
When considering a new technology, make sure it is mature enough and also fits the existing culture and business strategy of your organisation. Don’t buy it just because everybody is latching on to this new tool. Follow how it’s being adopted and the problems people are facing. Once you have a good idea, only then you need to decide whether this technology is right for your organisation. Ray Murphy (Leo Cyber Security)
2. Business Potential
A business process is ready for a tech investment when it can be consistently performed manually. We will consider a new technology if it allows us to better optimise customer lifetime value or it allows us to open up a completely new distribution channel. Jen Grogono, uStudio
3. Efficient and Scalable
We consider efficiency, scalability and security to decide whether a particular technology is ready for uptake. In case there is a technology solution that scales easily and helps us become more efficient without compromising on the security aspects, we will definitely consider that solution. Robert Morcose, Social Mobile
4. Total Ownership Cost
When it comes to tech buying decisions, one of the most important things one should consider is the overall cost of ownership that should include the operational costs as well as efficient use of the technology.
Business capitalists Max Funding say, “one shouldn’t get caught up in the cycle of always having the latest technology.” They explain,”when it comes to tech efficiency, it involves ease of deployment, easy integration with legacy systems and high utilisation rate.”
The operational costs should account for the cost of operation, cost of support and maintenance. Additionally, it is a must for organisations to measure the impact of new technology on improvement in overall productivity. Simply put, the ultimate goal of any new investment is to maximise ROI which essentially means maximum increase in productivity and minimising TCO. Beyond these things, certain other important things that should be considered include the time it takes to implement new technologies. Consider the overall rollout process and the time it would take to train and implement. The goal should be to minimise the hiccups and disruptions for existing projects. Kam Eshghi, Lightbits Labs
5. Learning Curve
A number of important things should be considered. New tech is like a shiny new object which will always have that seductive attraction but it doesn’t mean that you ignore the blind spots, hidden costs and potential risks of a new technology. Some of the hidden costs include maintenance, monitoring, personnel training as well as learning curve and these costs can be often high in case there isn’t enough talent trained in the new tech to meet the rising demand.
ROI is definitely an important factor but when it comes to new technology, it’s a bit difficult to predict the returns as compared to the schedule of investments as there are limited case studies. It is easier to decide on adopting an immature technology if it’s possible to have a small scale trial, the number of stakeholders involved is few and there is support from the organisation for experimentation. Tom Salvat
6. Solution to Business Problems
There are a number of important things that need to be considered when new technologies are being evaluated for adoption. You need to take into account whether this new technology will help in solving existing business problems or if it will help in fuelling further innovation in the organisation. Businesses need to have a clear vision for the core purpose of new technology as it’s not efficient to chase every new tool. At the same time, businesses should also develop the ability to adapt to the ever-changing technology landscape. Mark Pryor, The Seam
7. Digital and Physical Security
One of the big problems with adopters and creators of new technologies is that they often don’t pay necessary attention to the security aspect of the new technology in their zeal to innovate. A successful project relies on the foundation of physical as well as digital security. Security is becoming even more important with the increasing rise in global connectivity as well as growing Internet of Things.
Security needs to be imbibed right from the outset as security issues can have extremely costly and long-term consequences for an organisation as well as the users. A good systems design incorporates ease of use with excellent security. Mike Segal, DigitalX.
8. Time Saved Vs Setup Time
As a cyber security company, we take the security aspect of any new tech seriously. Therefore, we do our own testing on each new technology that is used internally. In addition to the security aspect, we also consider the time it takes to set up and operate as compared to the time savings it brings. At times, the new tech addition is not worth it if the benefits are only incremental. We do consider the opinions of others in the industry who are already using the technology. Galina Antova, Claroty
9. Impact on Customers
The most important thing we consider is whether the new technology will help in delighting our customers. For instance, any new technology should allow us to better our customers’ experience by helping us scale easily, less expensively or more quickly. Charles Silver, Permission.io Inc.
Every new technical edition comes with an unforeseen overhead of social and technical integration. Any new technology needs to be integrated into the organization for it to become successful and this is why I stay away from jumping to the next greatest product. We need to pay for more than 100 SaaS products but only 5 of those are probably deeply embedded in our systems. The aim of most software is to improve productivity but they mostly do the opposite. Focusing on developing good habits and processes is the right way to become more efficient and therefore, I don’t like the trigger-happy approach some people have when it comes to new technology. Rory San Miguel, Propeller