There are so many new technologies and combinations of technologies, it is extremely hard to keep up. How do you know which to pay attention to and which to ignore? Unfortunately, some clients have told us they get overwhelmed by it all and just go back to what they are expert in (running the business) and postpone the technology decision.
As much as we find that technology is NOT #1 to success, achieving scalable, profitable growth without technology is an uphill battle to be sure! With that said, we find technology enthusiasts who get bogged down in technology as the “be all, end all” to success struggle as well. Instead of either of these extremes, use a bit of uncommon common sense and determine which technologies to pay attention to. A few points to consider in answering this question include:
- Your industry: There is no point being an early adopter if unnecessary in your industry unless it is your competitive advantage. Where is your industry headed? What would provide a benefit?
- Your position: If your competitive edge is being on the forefront of delivering an exceptional customer experience, you better figure out what you need to succeed in this differentiator. If this were your case, we bet you would need to invest in technology that would enable a superior customer experience. But it is unlikely you’d need other technology advances.
- Return on investment: As exciting as new technology can be, it pays to ensure you’ll gain an ROI. Go through the exercise to determine if technology will enable growth, profitability, cash flow or another bottom line benefit.
- Your current state: A few of our clients have been in a position where they were limited in growth prospects without enabling technology. Of course, they could grow by brute force with a stellar sales and marketing team; however, to grow in a scalable way, they will need to leverage technology instead of hiring just to ‘keep up’ with growth.
- Your strengths: As with most priorities, focus on your strengths. It can be tempting to “keep up with the Joneses” and buy the latest and greatest technology you think your competition has; however, instead of throwing good money after bad, think about your company’s strengths, your teams’ strengths and what makes the most sense to align those strengths with customer requirements.
In today’s Amazon impacted environment, evaluating technology to best support your business objectives is a “must”. As much as can be accomplished through people and process alone, you will not thrive without at least thinking about technology. Who would have thought network TV would trend towards becoming obsolete? You want to be aware of what’s coming down the pike in terms of technology before you head over the edge in complete denial with your typewriter in hand.