As small businesses in our area gear up for growth, we’re hearing more and more prospects ask about strategic technology. They don’t want to know how we can support their organization (though they want us to do that, too), they want to know how we can help them modernize and be strategic about their business processes. They want more customized technology that really serves their users and workflows rather than piecing their data together manually. For business owners that are looking to modernize, there are a few things that you’ll want to consider before you begin the process.
Ask yourself why.
Why, after all this time, are you finally ready to modernize your technology? Change for the sake of change is never a good idea. Make sure that you know exactly why you want to modernize your technology and make sure the plan that you’re going to have completely addresses the need. Before you take action, make sure your action has a reason behind it and a purpose. Some good reasons to modernize:
- Existing business application isn’t working
- It’s time to refresh server equipment and you’re not sure what would be best for your organization
- You want your users to be happy with your technology
Customize it to your industry.
Not every piece of technology will serve well for each industry. Make sure that your chosen technology consultant or provider has the appropriate amount of industry expertise to navigate the nuances and workflows that are unique your business and industry. Be sure that you’re armed with ideas and examples of what you want to see to accelerate the discussion based on your needs and goals.
Rome wasn’t built in a day. As cliché as that may sound, make sure that you understand what is realistic within your given budget and what can be accomplished within the timeframe that you’re expecting. Expectations are the most important part of this equation and you need to be sure you aren’t forcing an unrealistic timeline for new technology that may cause more issues than it solves.
Keep an open mind.
Don’t write off any options just because you have a predisposed mindset. Be objective and weigh all options presented with your chosen goal in mind. Making snap judgments based on your opinion of a technology isn’t constructive and can actually prohibit you from making a decision that could truly revolutionize your technology.
Perhaps most importantly, you must make sure that you’re all in with the provider that you choose. Make the time to understand and participate in the process so that the transition goes smoothly and you can help lead the charge inside your organization on your new technology-centric culture. Consider the endgame, your business’ goals, your budget and engage a partner that you can trust to make the decisions that are right for you and not the ones that cater to his own bottom line.