In the competitive business world, organizations implement various strategies to stay ahead of the game. These include offering up-to-date products, value added services, integrated solutions, flexible and responsive back-end solutions such as outsourced business transcription services adapting to and managing continuous change, and implementing new technology. As a business evolves, technology is essential to keep it working smoothly.
Today, innovations have impacted many areas and technology adoption is seen as a formula for success. Technology has greatly enhanced communication, allowing employees to communicate better. The internet and mobile devices support collaboration among staff members, regardless of their geographical location. They allow data to be accessed, transferred and shared from anywhere. Technology has also cut manufacturing costs, helping businesses supply goods at cheaper rates without affecting quality. Even small companies can manufacture their product efficiently and inexpensively. Technology has also simplified financial management, accounting and book-keeping, transport, inventory management, customer relations, and much more.
However, small and medium sized businesses face many challenges when it comes to tech adoption. Here are the key factors to consider when investing in and adopting new technologies:
- Cost: Lack of funds is the primary challenge of implementing new technology. As small businesses have resource limitations, important technology roll outs often take a back seat. Operational costs include the expenses for operating, supporting and maintaining the new technology. Businesses must consider how investing in the new technology will help improve overall productivity and maximize return on investment.
- Actual business needs: A measured, strategic approach is essential when it comes to adopting disruptive technologies. All solutions considered should meet actual business needs. New technology is costly and small businesses have resource constraints. It’s important for businesses to know what purpose the technology will serve before it is adopted.
- Selecting the right platform: There are innumerable technology solutions out there, and small businesses need to choose the one that will meet their needs. The cheapest option may not be the most feasible one, and the business may end up spending more on maintaining it than on another solution with higher initial costs. Scalability and efficiency must also be taken into account when deciding on whether or not a technology is right for an organization, says Robert Morcos, Social Mobile in a Forbes article.
- Impact on employees: While there are various options to ease operations and improve productivity, businesses must consider how user-friendly the tools would be. Comprehensive training is necessary during on boarding to familiarize employees with the new technology and demonstrate how they can manage it in the work context. It’s important to incorporate training costs into the estimates before adopting the technology. Planning carefully and delivering training in an engaging way will promote smoother adoption and adaptation.
- Implementation: The time-frame necessary for implementing new technology will depend on factors such as the complexity of the new technology, old technology replacement requirements, and the level of importance technology plays in the company’s business processes (www.smallbusinesschron.com). Companies that do not have tech support personnel can outsource monitoring and other tech services.
- Cyber security: Compatibility and security are key considerations when investing in new tech. The tech should be adaptable with the existing equipment. Importantly, it must be secure. Unless it comes with proper levels of security, the ‘solution’ would backfire and cause irreparable damage to the business.
- Impact on customer experience: Today, business competition is mostly about providing a great customer experience. Technology can improve operational efficiency and help a business deliver better customer service. However, to succeed in this area, small businesses need to be sure that any costly technological investment they make will indeed benefit their customers. Blindly adopting something just because it’s new or benefited a big player may not yield the expected business results.
Technology innovation is crucial for both big and small businesses. They rely on a support system of partners and vendors to carry out their operations and meet customer demands on time. These vendors from multiple streams include outsourcing companies providing IT support, raw material, logistics and marketing support, digital transcription services, warehousing solutions, etc. Partnering with a reliable vendor is necessary to reap the benefits of technology and ensure that the investment adds to the business’s productivity and bottom-line growth.