It might be commendable to fix and patch your lawn mower, your snow blower, or even your car until it finally gives out. It’s a different story, however, when you’re talking about the technology that runs your business and one reason why business leaders insist on stalling new technology investments is because they’re afraid.
They’re afraid that the whole transition to the new system will be a nightmare. They’re afraid that their employees will complain when they have to learn a new system. They’re afraid that they’re not going to be any better off tomorrow than they are today because they’re not totally sure that they’re equipped to make a confident decision on exactly what technology they need.
Avoid IT Improvements and Risk Falling Behind
The result is that they plug along with what they have, sacrificing efficiency and competitive advantage. But while they’re saving money by avoiding IT improvements, and keeping the peace with the employees who are averse to change, they’re falling behind.
Where is the IT department in discussions about new technology? They’re just as paralyzed as the business leaders because they don’t have the expertise needed to successfully deploy new technology. In any case, they’re overwhelmed with trying to keep the old technology working and don’t have a spare moment to spend learning something new.
How to Go from Afraid to Excited About New Technology
Going from afraid to excited about new technology is possible. What you need to do is to make good choices about the types of technology that will be best for your business, and then plan out the transition with the details that are needed to set up a good experience. Here’s how to do that.
1. Get Your IT Foundation on Firm Footings
A solid IT foundation is essential for supporting innovation as well as consistent technology performance. It may be that the investment you need to make has to do with building this foundation. Once you have that, it can be faster and easier to adopt the technology you need to set your business apart from your competitors.
2. Get IT Guidance for Technology Decisions
Even if you have internal IT staff, you probably need someone who can be your vCIO (Virtual Chief Information Officer) to help you make decisions about technology investments. They’ll not only bring you ideas about technology options that will meet your goals, they’ll help you make sure that all the pieces that you’re putting together are compatible.
3. Get Detailed Project Management
There’s a certain amount of disturbance that’s going to happen when you make IT improvements, but you can make the experience the best it can be with detailed project management and communications. An experienced project team will be able to anticipate not only what’s going to happen, but what might create hiccups and be there to help you over the bumps.
4. Plan for Training and Transitioning
Making sure that you allow adequate time for your people to transition to the new technology is vital to its successful adoption. This includes time for both training and practice. Keep in mind that different people have different learning styles. Some people will get it right away, and others will need more coaching and practice. Supporting people in their learning curve will nurture positive attitudes towards the change.
5. Trust IT When Adopting New Technology
When your company runs on technology, you’ve got to trust that your IT department can get the job done. If you don’t have that confidence today, you can get it by improving how you manage IT. Improvement might look like augmenting your internal IT department or totally replacing them with outsourced Managed IT Services.
New Technologies to Consider
Your business and operations are unique and industry-specific technologies are evolving all the time. The first step to finding the technologies that you should adopt is to have a look at what’s available. As you review alternatives, look for better features and capabilities than what you’re working with right now, and keep your business goals firmly in mind.
Here are three different types of technologies that all businesses should be evaluating now:
1. Advanced Cybersecurity Tools
It’s no longer good enough to just have a firewall, antivirus and spam filters. Modern cyber defense includes utilization of security advanced tactics such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM). These are just a few examples of new technologies that are helping business leaders manage the increasing risks of cyber crime.
2. Automation with Microsoft Power Apps
Manual and complex processes slow down your people and create opportunities for errors. The Microsoft Power Platform makes it easy to create automations that streamline processes and create efficiencies that allow your people to get more work done. An added benefit of removing complexity from your internal and external processes is increased employee and customer satisfaction.
3. Cloud Applications
Just because your line-of-business software has a module for every department of your organization doesn’t mean that it’s always the best tool to use. There are cloud applications for everything from HR to Marketing to Logistics. Many apps offer a free trial allowing you to test drive and compare with what you’re using now. When choosing cloud applications, keep in mind how your information will integrate with your other applications, and what you need to do to secure and backup data.
4. Expanded Use of Microsoft Teams
As companies sent their employees home to work when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded over the world in 2020, many discovered that Microsoft Teams was their solution for communication and collaboration. However you’re using Teams today, you can be assured that it has capabilities that you haven’t discovered yet. From the integration of Power Apps to Microsoft Business Voice, there’s so much more that your people can do inside the Microsoft Teams workspace that can improve the way they work.
Ready to Up Your Technology Game?
Convinced that it’s time to stop being afraid of new technology and start improving your business with IT? We work with companies to improve their operations and get better business results from technical strength and strategy. That includes ongoing consulting to identify the right technologies, and project management for planning and implementation.
Contact us for a FREE IT assessment and explore what that might look like for your business.