Make Smarter Technology Investments in Six Steps
Technology spending is an issue that every business has to confront. There are a lot of options out there and a lot of promises made of which many won’t ever come to fruition, so it’s important to know exactly what it is that your business needs before committing to any technology investment. This month, we discuss six variables to consider when deciding on your next technology move.
Outline A Realistic Spending Strategy
It doesn’t matter what you are looking to buy, you need to know how much you have to spend. When putting together proposals designed to improve your business, they can quickly get extraordinarily expensive. By establishing clear budgetary restraints that you need to follow, you can be sure that you won’t deal with massive cost overruns that make getting a fast return on your technology investments impossible.
Conduct Thorough Research
A lot of business owners and executives deal exclusively on budgets, not so much in the actual spending of it. It’s important that anyone that holds the purse strings on a technology budget be a part of the research team to vet potential solutions. The fact is that there are a lot of technology companies out there and some of them don’t have a very solid track record. You will want to do your research and consider companies that have an established history of fulfilling needs for companies like yours.
Consider Your Project Team
Once you’ve pinpointed the technology you wish to implement, you will want to map out what a potential deployment will look like. This means identifying risks, where the cost benefits are, and what makes the deployment unique. The better you are at evaluating your would-be vendors, the project’s timeline, and the stress the new technology will put on your staff, the more ready you will be to get started and make the technology work for your business.
Don’t Just Plan for Today
The benefit of investing in technology is that it can help your business today and beyond. Unfortunately, many businesses are blinded by the technology itself and don’t value how it is going to work for your company as its growth arc expands. The more flexible any technology is, the better it will be down the line; and while it’s impossible to satisfy all your needs with one solution, if you can effectively implement technology that handles some abject pain points, the better off your business will be at the end of the project and beyond.
Typically, any technology implementation your business goes through is going to cost more money upfront than it will going forward. This is because you have to factor in things like planning, design, procurement, deployment, and training—not to mention any operational hiccups that can come as a result. This leads to many decision makers wondering where the cost savings in any technology implementation are coming from. This is why you need to ask a lot of questions up front to ensure that your bases are covered and you know exactly what to expect from any new technology project.
One major issue we see all the time from businesses that are looking to incorporate some new technology is that they rush through an IT project and end up having sustained troubles as a result. You will want to give any new technology initiative a conservative estimate in terms of the timeline of events. Remember, all solidly implemented technology projects have defined stages and if you rush through the planning, implementation, or backend tasks like training, you will probably have some problems with the overall project.
Spending on technology typically works pretty well to improve efficiency, overall operational productivity, and customer relationships, but if you don’t slow down and budget for a thorough deployment, you might find yourself waiting around longer than expected for your ROI.
At White Mountain IT Services, we help New Hampshire organizations design, procure, deploy, and support all types of mission critical and productivity-focused technology. Give us a call today to learn how we can help your business do the same.