Top 7 Strategies for Selecting the Perfect Business Technology
Sept 10, 2023
Read Time: 4 Minutes
Technology is the backbone of every successful business. You must make the right tech choices. It’s never been more critical. Here are 7 crucial strategies I use when advising businesses. You can use these strategies to drive your company as a leader in your industry.
1. Align Technology with Business Objectives
You should always start by identifying your business objectives. Business objectives include revenue growth, saving time on tasks, or increasing customer happiness. Any technology you choose should positively impact your business objectives. This is the greatest way to get a return on investment for your technology.
Once you identify a set of business objectives you have to order them. Some tech solutions will knock out many objectives at once. If you have competing objectives and limited funds you must order them. Always start with what will have the greatest impact.
2. Focus on Scalability
Your technology should grow with you as your business grows. Select solutions that are scalable. These will offer more features and integrations as your needs evolve. This ensures a future-proof approach. You will be safeguarding your investments and ensuring smooth transitions.
A word of caution. Do not over-buy. For every software solution, only about 20% of features get regular use. 50% of features never get used.
3. Dive Deep into User Experience (UX)
You want technologies that offer an intuitive user experience. This not only reduces the learning curve for your team but also boosts productivity. A stellar UX promotes efficiency. It will also lead to improved customer satisfaction if it’s customer-facing technology.
I look for the program features grouping. An accounting program is an easy example. Are the customer functions in one spot? Are the employee tasks in one spot? Or do you have to bounce from screen to screen? Do you have to export data from one area to import data to another area?
Ask the vendor what onboard training you will receive. How long until you get proficient in the new system?
4. Consider Your Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
You know what the initial investment will be. You will experience a license fee per user, installation fee, or flat fee for the system. But what are the ongoing costs associated with the new technology?
The ongoing costs factor into the Total Cost of Ownership. Ongoing fees would include yearly upgrades, fees for how much you use it, or vendor support. There can be a time investment for your technical team to maintain patches.
Large vendors will have annual conferences that you will want to send your team to.
5. Emphasis on Cybersecurity
Cyber threats are only increasing. You are one accident away from a major cybersecurity incident. You want to know that the technology you select has robust security features built in. Common features are multi-factor authentication, encrypted data, and regular security updates.
Beware vendors that sell cybersecurity features as an add-on. The basic security features should be built in.
6. Seek Vendor Support and Reliability
Vendor support can make or break your tech experience. Don’t take their word for it. Reach out to other customers to learn about their experience.
How easy was the onboarding process?
How quickly do they respond to support issues?
What business objectives were you trying to solve?
Has the solution lived up to your expectations?
You want vendors with a track record of reliability and not a lot of downtime.
This particular area is where price comparison shopping will make or break you. If a solution is the cheapest but the onboarding, support, and downtime are bad, your total cost of ownership skyrocketed.
If a solution is more expensive but you get up and running faster with very few issues, your total cost of ownership has went down.
7. Champion Users
None of the strategies above do any good if the people using the new tech aren’t ready for the change.
I’ve lost track of the number of tech initiatives that died when end users were not involved. Leadership dictated a change. By themselves. End users slow-walked it or ignored the request. Leadership forgot after they moved on to the next thing.
You want input from the people who will actually use the new tech. What do they struggle with? What costs them time? What do their customers complain about? What part of their job do they hate and wish they could automate?
You want a representative in each department that a new piece of tech touches. Everyone will have a different frame of reference and set of priorities. The trick is to get everyone to understand which priorities have the greatest net benefit.
You want the end users to be chomping at the bit to use the new technology. Not dreading it like the plague.
That’s all for this week.
See you next Sunday.