Business leaders know they need to embrace technology, and many of us are aware we should be doing more. There are two broad areas I like to think about when looking at technology. Firstly, there is how we harness and incorporate technology into our own business operations, ensuring we are continually assessing our systems. Secondly, there is how we are utilising technology in the products and services we are offering to clients and customers.
In this blog, we will look at the first topic. Here are five key considerations to help better harness and incorporate technology:
1. Be strategic!
Plan with the end in mind. Don’t just individually address and haphazardly rectify specific issues. Consider the broader technology challenges, because everything is connected or at least should be. Think about the ideal situation and then work back from there. Aim to implement the fewest systems with the broadest impact. And remember, the longest march starts with the first step, so don’t be put off by the challenges or where you are starting from.
2. Embrace change & lead by example!
It’s scary considering the bigger picture and what might need to go into an entire system change, especially the learning and upskilling that this change may demand. In fact, it’s something most staff are initially very resistant to. Get buy-in from your whole team by explaining the benefits, then lead by example by investing the time to learn the system too. If you avoid using it, your staff will too.
3. Keep it as simple as possible.
You want your solution to be scalable. The Pareto principle will likely apply – in other words, 80% of the benefits should come from just 20% of the new system. So, focus on those benefits and get them working for everyone to see.
4. See it as a continual investment.
Many companies invest in a new platform then stop after implementation. Ongoing investment is the only way to ensure the system continues to drive efficiency. If you stop investing, then work-arounds and inefficiencies compound. I have seen many terrible examples of this lack of commitment and follow-through. It leads to frustration and huge disfunction.
5. Appoint champions in the business.
Ensure there is someone accountable for the ongoing maintenance of technology systems and solutions as well as someone to ensure broad adoption. Beware of UFSs (unidentified flying spreadsheets) as these are the sworn enemy of implementing great system solutions. If nobody embraces or trusts the information, then they run their own version of what they consider to be the numbers or the data.
Finally, every business is a technology business, no matter what you do, so get with the program!
I hope you found something useful here, even if it’s just a nudge to start to tackle what you have been putting off.
Good luck and stay safe.