When Tech Can Improve Your Company (and When It Might Not)
For better or worse, tech can be dazzling. Sometimes, this can lead you astray as a business owner if you’re the type of person who gets so excited about a new toy that you forget to assess its real usefulness. On the other hand, there are times when tech offers solutions that range from helpful to crucial. It’s not always the answer, but when it is, you don’t want to get it wrong.
Working with Different Departments
One of the hardest things about evaluating a potential solution is when it is for an area of your business that’s not part of your expertise. Because this will sometimes be the case at most companies that are larger than you and a couple of employees, you’ll need to rely on the people within those areas to help guide your decision. This requires a certain amount of trust and granting some autonomy to your managers and employees, meaning that you lay the groundwork for this relationship before you are working with them to find a tech solution to a current problem.
If your fleet is growing, your manager may need upgraded tools to stay on top of where vehicles are. GPS fleet tracking software and solutions can be useful to help you get real-time info, which can improve your routing and customer service. Your fleet manager can help you determine what features you might need and what the benefits would be.
Running it Past IT
If you have an IT department or just a single IT person on your staff, you may want to get their opinion on any computer-related purchases. Security, ease of installation and how well it will integrate with existing systems are all worth discussion. Another thing to consider is the scalability of the solution. Can it grow with you and your company or alongside other equipment upgrades? Some software may offer a trial period that can help you determine whether there are bugs or other issues that might not make it the best choice.
Looking at the Competition
Often, you’re looking at the competition to figure out how to distinguish yourself from them, but there are also times when you may need to do so to determine how widespread adoption of this new tech is. A simple but illustrative example is something like mobile-friendly websites; a dozen or even 10 years ago this might not have seemed critical, but these days, if your business is heavily dependent on web traffic and your customers can’t easily access your site on the go, you won’t last long. Pay attention to whatever expectations are trending in your industry so that you don’t fall behind. If you are in a skills first labor market that is going to mean a much different tech strategy than other markets.
When It’s Time to Wait
There are plenty of times when the answer is to wait and see. This can be the case if the tech is new and exciting but there don’t seem to be many practical applications for it yet. There may be bugs that need to be ironed out, or the price point might just be too high now to justify a purchase. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of waiting for a later version. This can also be true if there are economic factors at play. Currently the cost of living crisis has made it harder to bridge the digital gap which means waiting might make for an easier, and more successful implementation.