In business, we place so much emphasis on the benefits of technology that we sometimes overlook the drawbacks. These can be considerable and encompass issues such as privacy, data security, and complexity. You should aim to establish a harmonious relationship with technology by ensuring that you benefit from its strengths and avoid any weaknesses. You can help to develop such an approach with the following strategy.
1. Match Your Technology to Your Business
Always match your technology to the type of business you run. Further, make sure that your technology corresponds with the demands of the marketplace in which you sell your products and services. Technology that doesn’t properly suit your business wastes your time and money. Consequently, ask the following three questions. They help to focus your attention on the exact technology that you require.
(a) Does your technology improve efficiency?
A key purpose of technology is to improve the efficiency of your business. So when you shop around for hardware and software, establish precisely how it can enhance productivity and be cost-effective.
(b) Does your technology offer clear lines of communication?
Your technology must enable clear and prompt communication. Whether you rely on voice calls, video conferencing, email, texts, or any combination of these and more, you need to be confident that communication is seamless and fast.
(c) Does your technology fit your business culture?
When you’re buying technology, make sure that it fits (i) the way your business operates and (ii) the priorities that your work demands. In other words, opting for the cheapest technological solution may not always be wise. Think first about the need for technology that complements your business. Don’t put yourself in the position where you have to adapt your business to suit your technology and its limitations.
2. Ensure Your Technology Works With and Not Against Your Employees
Technology that confuses your employees can be disastrous. Ensure that your technology is suitable for the type of work that each employee does; then, make sure, with training if necessary, that your employees are comfortable with it. You might run into technology that has a steep learning curve. Then you have to make a decision if it’s worth investing in and training your employees. This can complicate onboarding and cause an increase in the initial burden of hiring an employee so you’d have to weigh the decision carefully.
3. Ensure Your Technology Works With and Not Against Your Customers
You can’t train your customers to use your technological interfaces. So you need to make sure that any interaction with them through the use of technology is straightforward. If you’re buying new technology, or have doubts about the customer interaction that’s available with your current system, run a series of tests. Ask friends and family to act as customers. And if you identify problems, address them. You have to optimize this experience which increases customer loyalty and increases their willingness to return.
4. Ensure You Can Develop Your Technology Easily and for Minimum Cost
This may appear to be an obvious point to make, but it bears repeating: Technology is changing all the time. You have to keep up because you can be certain that your competitors will do so. As a result, when you’re in the market for technology, find out how future-proof it actually is. For instance, can you update it easily and cost-effectively? And can you expand your technology as your business grows without requiring a major overhaul?
Technology is welcome. However, it can pose a risk to your business if it doesn’t meet your overall aims. Taking a strategic attitude enables you to maintain your control over technology and build a positive, harmonious relationship.