Implementing new technology is always a game-changer—for the better when it is done correctly, and for the dark side if done hastily or with too little consideration. Here’s how to get it right.
By / Jessica Kirby
Understanding the ROI of your tech stack can help you identify which tech investments are delivering benefits and which are not, but determining total value goes beyond net gain divided by investment.
Here are a few things to consider beyond basic ROI:
- Does the tech offer a sales boost? If the tech stack improves customer experience and satisfaction, it reduces the costs associated with problem-solving.
- Does it improve productivity? Automating smaller tasks, for example, can have an enormous impact on productivity and cost savings, while having more time for larger tasks with measurable impact boosts morale and productivity.
- Does it provide measurable data? Real-time information collection and analysis provides an essential layer of insight that allows forecasting and taking advantage of upcoming trends.
Here are five steps to choosing and implementing the best tech for your business. The answers to the following questions become a checklist for the features you need in the best tech stack for your business.
Step 1 – Understand your organization’s goals
What business problems you are trying to solve? What day-today issues does your workforce face? How are they meeting or working around those challenges? What could be easier? What are your SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound) business objectives?
Step 2 – Identify your must-haves
What features or achievements must your new tech guarantee? What would it take to solve your biggest problem? What are the deal breakers you will absolutely not entertain?
Step 3 – Establish your technical requirements
Does your team mostly operate in a mobile capacity? Do they place orders from the field? Do you need to send orders direct to equipment? Have you considered cloud versus installed solutions? What does your team require in terms of training, troubleshooting, and ongoing support? How tech savvy is your group to begin with?
What kind of data collection and analysis would help launch your business into its next stages? How important is project management, multiple cost factors (i.e., labour, material, shipping, and others), and real-time, up-to-the-minute reporting?
Step 4 – Weigh the price factors
Any tech decision will affect may teams in the organization, and they should be consulted but not allowed to hold the decision hostage. Choose a champion to lead the charge, give each department clear expectations, and bravely make the decision to shortlist your vendors.
Step 5 – Shortlisting your vendors
Compare your checklist with vendors’ websites and see who checks all your boxes. If they are close, call for a free demo as they may have a way to solve your problem that you hadn’t thought about. What can you find out about the companies? How long have they been in business? Who are their clients? Can they provide case studies? Free demos?
While it is essential to keep an open mind about new ways to solve problems, it is also important to hold your ground when it comes to your deal breakers and game-changers. No one know your business like you do, so be sure your tech vendor is operating from a place where your business needs are the focus and priority.