As the business technology landscape continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, it’s easier than ever to make the wrong choices. That’s the point where technology becomes a hindrance rather than an asset that drives growth.
Every new technology arises in response to an innovation trigger, which may be a supposed need rather than a genuine one. Once it reaches the peak of inflated expectations, it can end up plummeting into what Gartner describes as the trough of disillusionment.
To make the right investments and, in doing so, reduce the risk to your business, it’s important to enter the right phase of the hype cycle. That doesn’t necessarily mean waiting for it to enter mainstream use, but it does require informed decision-making.
#1. Prioritize business alignment
Most digital transformation goals fail because they don’t clearly identify the business need. Often, companies innovate because that’s what everyone else is doing, even if the business need is questionable at best. When making any decision to invest in new technology, you first need to identify the business need. Chances are, you’ll have more than one in mind, so it’s important to prioritize.
For example, your customers might be demanding more options for making payments online, in which case you’ll want to focus on delivering a better and more scalable payment system. Internally, your team might lack efficiency due to overreliance on paper documents or physical digital media, in which case you could have a strong case for migrating to a cloud-based app for managing your company’s information.
#2. Focus on user experience
In many organizations, there’s still a large disconnect between IT and other departments. This can result in poor technology choices failing to align with the needs of those who matter most — the people who will actually be using the new systems. That’s why you need to focus on the user experience, whether those users are your customers or employees. Unless a new system or process provides a better experience than whatever it’s replacing, no one’s going to adopt it and, even if they do, it won’t make things better.
When thinking about user experience, it’s a good idea to take a cue from product management and software development in the form of user stories. A user story is a sentence describing, in simple language, who the technology is for, what the user wants it to do, and how it benefits them. It’s one of the simplest ways to define the user experience and, consequently, the need. You can then translate this into necessary functions and features.
#3. Ensure you have the right support
Technology is complicated, and the high cost and widespread lack of necessary expertise aren’t making things easier. Sometimes, new solutions are so difficult to implement or maintain that they’re not worth the cost or effort involved unless you have expert guidance throughout. Your existing infrastructure might not be ready to accommodate the change either, especially in the case of legacy solutions that lack the scalability of newer, cloud-based systems.
You also need the support of all relevant parties when choosing and implementing new tech. Larger investments will almost certainly require sign-off from executive management, so you’ll need to justify the investment to the boardroom, too.
#4. Screen your potential vendors
Every new technology implemented in the workplace introduces a degree of inherent risk. This is an unavoidable constant, but it isn’t something that should sway you from innovating. What it does mean is that you should screen your potential vendors to mitigate the risk. For example, a healthcare provider seeking a more efficient cloud-based patient management solution will need to ensure their vendors are HIPAA-compliant.
Screening potential vendors takes time, but it’s essential to avoid adding unnecessary risk to your operations. For rapidly growing organizations, it’s a good idea to implement an automated onboarding process that helps you quantify and manage risk.
Prosum provides a people-first approach combined with technology proficiency to help you make and support the right technology investments. Call us today to discover our solutions.