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New technology bombards companies by promising to change their workflows, productivity, and revenue every day. More times than not, however, very few technological implements actually serve a specific need.
How can companies zone in?
How can your company find out if the new technology being offered can help? Buy it and test it! Don’t be afraid to invest in your business if you really feel that something is going to help you be more productive.
Be quick to cut and run, though. If you haven’t implemented the new tool in thirty days, cancel or return it. Do not allow yourself to be suckered into the mindset that “you’ll get around to it.” You need to take action and implement your new gadget, or you need to get rid of it. The same mentality follows if you’ve tested the software and found it doesn’t meet your needs. Don’t force it to help you – look for a better alternative.
The focus, more importantly, always needs to be on your bottom line. A lot of tools are great, but if they aren’t helping you generate more revenue, they’re not worth it. If you don’t see results immediately, move on. Don’t waste your time or money.
How does your business prioritize?
How can your company decide what technology it needs when “shiny new objects” are constantly being dangled in front of it? This is really simple! The way you can make decisions objectively is by always maintaining open, honest lines of communication with your employees. If you don’t have employees, ask close friends or family for their opinions. You need to know how you are doing and what you can do better. There’s always room for growth and improvement.
Technology needs to serve a specific purpose. By understanding your team’s needs and your own weaknesses, you can help make the decision to implement a new technology that could be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Our team, for example, was having trouble assigning tasks without unnecessary overlap on the same projects. We implemented an online project management tool called Asana. In the end, it has done wonders for our communication, productivity, and, consequently, our bottom line.
This technology served a very specific purpose for a problem area, and we knew about this through regular, open discussions about our collective weak spots.
Do your company’s needs match a program?
Even after companies have assessed what a platform or program can do, as well as outlined their own needs, it can be tricky to determine if there is a potential pairing. Additionally, comparing between multiple programs can be tough. You can always read reviews from other customers, but when push comes to shove, you know your needs better than anyone else, and the decision is yours. Don’t let a few really positive or negative reviews scare you away from using a new technology that may be a perfect fit for you.
The short answer here is trial and error. If you find something intriguing, sleep on it for a day or two. If in two days you’re still really interested, try it out. Some business owners are willing to spend hundreds of dollars to buy training that will teach them to run a better business, yet they won’t spend a dime on technology that could really help.
Telltale signs that a technology is merely a “shiny new object”
There are, fortunately, a few big signs that a technology is just a “new shiny object” (our code for “useless tool everyone wants”).
Firstly, is this new tool really groundbreaking? Is there another tool that does essentially the same thing? More often than not, these “new” tools are just old tools with new logos (and price tags). If there are tools that perform essentially the same function, then look into the older version first. You might find that the older tool wasn’t popular because it didn’t serve a great need; therefore, why should the new version be any better?
Secondly, have the owners of this tool had the success they claim their tool brings? As they say, “The proof is in the pudding.” If someone is claiming you will have great results, then he needs to put his money where his benefit statements are and show everyone that he has had the same results first.
In the long run, the right investment in technology (partnered with taking action) can make all the difference. Be cautious about new tools, but if something seems like it really could help your company, invest time to learn about it. Who knows? You might make a great find that will do wonders for your productivity, workflow, revenue and, ultimately, your business!
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“New Technology” image courtesy of Shutterstock.