A recent study conducted by Brother International revealed that 63 percent of small businesses felt overwhelmed with the number of technologies available to run their business.
In fact, small business owners are split 50/50 as to whether it’s riskier to adopt new technologies quickly and possibly compromise on ROI, or wait and potentially give their competitors an advantage.
So how do you determine what technology is right for your business?
With all the different options out there and the seemingly endless string of new product announcements, it can be difficult to know when to make a move or wait. The payoff for picking the right technology can mean increased productivity and profitability for your business, but if the technology doesn’t fit your business it can have the exact opposite effect.
Here are some guidelines to follow when trying to find the most productive technology fit for your business.
Before you start looking at different solutions you really need to understand your problem. What are the fundamental aspects or qualities that your ideal solution must provide?
If you have a system that can’t handle all your requirements and staff need to switch back and forth have you really saved any time?
Do you research and look at comments from other users. There are plenty of sites that have reviews on different products or software, try and find reviews from users in your industry and see if there are any major issues.
The best technology is one that works.
Make sure user experience is at the top of your list when looking at technology. There is no point in having the latest and greatest if your staff can’t use it properly, and if it is hard to use they may not even use it all! There is no greater irony than implementing technology that is meant to improve productivity but ends up slowing staff members down.
Can you access the software from anywhere or do you need to be tied to your desk to use it?
Time is money so if you can’t access what you need, when you need it, it’s slowing down your productivity. Good technology should be ready when you are, wherever you are.
The right technology should fit your business now, but it should also fit your business in the future.
Having a scalable system is so important if you’re looking to grow the business. There’s no point in implementing the perfect, yet rigid, technology now and two years down the track having to do it all again because it can’t grow with your business.
Changing technology and processes every few years will really mess with your productivity, not to mention your bottom line.
If you’re looking to make ongoing decisions about your IT strategy and want a forward thinking approach to your IT then you need to consider the relationship you have with your IT supplier.
Forming a true partnership with your IT supplier will enable you to make informed decisions and a partner that understands your business can make tailored recommendations to enhance your business.