Business technology can be your new competitive advantage. If done right, you can enjoy the benefits that automation and web technology have to offer in marketing, production, and even customer service.
But with a wide range of options in the market, how do you choose the one that suits your business? Find out some tips and tricks in this savvy guide.
The power of technology is undeniable. Many startups and medium-sized companies are now investing in business tech to increase efficiency and profitability.
But one minor issue about these advancements is their highly evolving nature. There are numerous and fast developments in AI technology, mobile technology, cloud services, and other business solutions. We can even expect more technological growth in the years to come.
So for an entrepreneur who cannot afford a costly mistake, choosing the right business technology is an intimidating task. That is why it’s important to distinguish the best tools to drive your business to success rather than becoming a short-term asset.
Now, how can you do that?
4 Steps to Choose the Best Business Tech This Year
Never take shortcuts in making business decisions. Follow these four savvy steps to get the best technology for business that meets your requirements.
1. Check your business needs.
Take an inventory of the existing technology in your company. Do they need improvements from time to time? Is there a better one available in the market? Can you easily replace the outdated ones?
Answering these questions helps narrow down your must-haves. It also lays out the infrastructure development process to make life easier for you and your employees.
For instance, in the age of mobile technology, using only web technology limits your ability to interact with your customers. Hence, it is better to utilize both platforms to create a more flexible environment for your potential clients.
2. Do your research thoroughly.
Create a list of potential tools you can integrate into your business. Now that you know what you need, you can easily browse the marketplace for core technologies.
Aside from online research, you can also survey your employees. Ask them what areas need improvement and take their feedback into consideration. Who knows, a new desktop that runs on the latest Windows operating system might be all it takes for your staff to become more productive.
You can even expand your research to your customers. They may have suggestions that can significantly enhance their customer experience.
3. Consider technology for business scalability.
Remember that investing in new technologies signifies taking financial risks for your business. Just check your list of needs and other extra features from time to time. And take into account the ability of each business technology to scale with your potential growth.
Can it be easily adjusted according to any changes in your manual processes? How much time does it take to accommodate the system modifications? Is it necessary to hire permanent technical support in the future? Consider these questions as you choose the solutions for your company.
4. Look for reliable technology partners.
Thinking of overhauling your current system? Or are you planning to integrate a different one? Look for trustworthy technology partners to make the process easier and more efficient.
There’s no need to hire dedicated staff for smooth implementation and employee training. You can just take advantage of your partner’s technical support services for the integration of new solutions. This is especially useful for startup technology integration.
Here’s an example—let’s say you want to choose a stack for your code. Since you don’t need a permanent staff for your startup business, you can outsource this process to an offshore development center. It lessens the resources you need but still ensures that implementation, training, troubleshooting, and security are not compromised.
Pitfalls to Avoid in Choosing Business Technology
Investing in new technology can be a daunting task for a startup entrepreneur. But knowing these possible slipups beforehand can give you more confidence in your choices.
Taking competitive analysis for granted
Always look into what your competitors are doing. Review their hits and misses, and create a competitive analysis on how you can also integrate their business tech to meet your needs.
Spending the budget in the wrong tech
Do not fall for marketing blackholes when it comes to business tech. Instead of focusing only on its potential, dive deeper into its features and functionalities that add more value to your company.
Neglecting the power of testing
Never skip the testing phase of new business solutions. Before purchasing anything, test its compatibility and other criteria on your system. This way, you can anticipate potential issues and adjust your plans accordingly. You don’t want to buy an expensive AI technology and find out it does not go well with your processes, right?
Forgetting to include customer validation
Take in customer feedback for optimal business development. Their insights on how to improve user experience can help greatly in planning for technological improvements.
Missing out on a backup plan
Let’s face it—technology is not a foolproof solution. Due to a bug or a minor technical error, it can temporarily shut down your operation, resulting in a significant loss in profit. But instead of fearing downtime, you can always create a backup plan to lessen its consequences.
Think about completing a Business Impact Analysis to navigate tech disturbances. Doing so will help you develop a strategy and recovery plan, including backup cloud storage, hardware solutions, and even power supplies.
Forgetting the importance of training
You’re on your way to automation, congratulations! But does everyone involved know how to use the technology effectively? No matter how highly advanced your technology is, it will not work to your advantage if no one knows how to operate it. Don’t forget to schedule training sessions for your employees to make the most of your investment.
3 Potential Challenges to Adopting New Business Technology
Change is never easy, even when it’s for the best. That is why you need to prepare for these bumps in the road when it comes to choosing technology for business.
1. Funding constraints
Business decisions are sometimes based on cash availability. Therefore, in choosing between mobile technology or web technology, or any other solution, think about how much money is at your disposal. Aside from the upfront cost, you must consider upgrade and maintenance fees too.
2. Employee adaptability
In a multigenerational workforce, there may be people who are not adept at working with advanced business tech. Thus, it is important that you set aside proper technical support for these employees, such as reference guides and manuals.
3. System disturbance
Despite the advantages that it offers, radical technological changes disrupt the natural system that you have established previously. Therefore it is expected that while employees are learning it, productivity rates and KPIs may decrease. You need to create a supportive environment to facilitate a faster learning curve for everyone involved.
While technology can save you from inefficiency, it can also be your downfall if you’re in the wrong direction. That is why you have to be familiar with your needs and limitations in using advanced solutions, like AI technology, or when collaborating with technology partners.
As a startup entrepreneur, choosing the right business technology means pointing out your pain points and envisioning your future growth. Take note of these tips and tricks as you go on your way towards automation and system efficacy.
At Full Scale, we make it our mission to help small and medium businesses foster innovation through technology. Now, if you’re looking for technical services and solutions to grow your organization, contact us today. You can also look around our website for more relevant business tips that you can apply.