Is your small or medium-sized business taking full advantage of today’s technological capabilities? If you answered, “Yes,” then you deserve a hearty congratulation. However, if your answer is, “No,” don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Results from a recent 2017 survey conducted by the Deloitte-MIT Sloan Management Review reveal that only 25 percent of businesses that responded believe they are taking advantage of all the technology benefits available today. As shocking as these results may be, the results were no surprise to those who conducted the study. The researchers found similar results over the past three years.
Let’s take a moment to discuss what this report actually reveals. Since the information in this study is based on self-reported surveys, it means those responding knew they weren’t getting the most they could from their technology. Additionally, many felt this way for years, yet they never tried to correct the problem. Why?
As somebody who is constantly on the lookout for new business-friendly technologies to share with my clients, I know how difficult it can be to adopt them. However, in this increasingly competitive marketplace, your business needs every advantage you can provide. That’s why I want to share some ways to help your business technology “grow up.”
Three Ways to Help Your Company’s Tech Mature
Develop a roadmap to better technology. Just like with any other journey in life, it can be difficult to know where to turn to get to your destination if you don’t even have the right directions to follow. Many of the business people I speak to on a daily basis understand that their companies aren’t making the most of technology—And, they don’t know what steps to take to get where they want to go. What I find even more troubling is when an owner of a business admits to me that he doesn’t have a clue where he wants his company to be technology-wise.
That’s why I always recommend to my clients that they have a clear goal in mind before incorporating any new technology into their business’s strategy. I suggest that they set a realistic technology goal based on their current and future business needs, and then develop a long-term plan to reach it. Those businesses that don’t employ in-house staff to create a technology roadmap, should always consider working with an outside IT expert who can guide them.
Use technology to make meaningful changes in the way your company does business. Any new technology you introduce needs to be worth the disruption it will cause. Never expect your employees to adopt new technology without issues. Even the smallest changes are difficult to adapt to. And when your employees have been doing something in the same way for years, they don’t want things to change unless they offer a major benefit.
On the other hand, while employees may respond positively to technology that makes their lives easier, don’t constantly add new technology for the sake of convenience. For example, if you’re currently using an email service that works well for your company, don’t be tempted to upgrade to a new email service that offers slightly faster access. Instead, focus on how to make changes to your business with more impactful technology, (like swapping out a clunky traditional PBX system for a cloud-based PBX/VoIP service).
Invest in your employees. Don’t forget that technology is worthless without employees who both understand it, and are able to use it effectively. If you want to transform your business from one that’s technologically immature, you must be willing to devote time and money into training your employees.
This training must focus on two things — Explaining the how and why of the new technology. First, you need to train staff members on how to operate the new technology. However, don’t forget the most important part of the training—Explaining to your staff why the new technology is better than the old for helping your company reach its goals.
Adopt or Disappear
You have two choices when it comes to technology for your business—To adopt to changing technology, or let your business slowly lag behind as more tech-savvy companies overtake you in the marketplace. No one can expect an established business to transform the way it uses technology overnight, and it’s foolish to believe the road to incorporating new technology won’t be long and rocky. However, no matter how rough the path, you need to start taking the first steps before you get left behind “in the road dust stirred by others in front of you.”
For information on up-to-date IT strategies and solutions for your business in Boston and New England, Spade Technology can help! We help businesses use a variety of technology services designed for their unique needs. Contact us at (508) 339- or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.