Many business owners considering an investment in new technology approach the decision-making process with a level of reluctance bordering on total unwillingness. While it’s never fun to part ways with hard-earned company money, it’s important to look at new technology through the lens of expected ROI. As in any other area of the business, there’s no sense in making an investment that isn’t a means to end.
A savvy owner wouldn’t hire too many employees or rent out a grossly oversized office space, so when considering the big picture, business owners can focus on tech decisions that will offer genuine improvements, helping bridge the gap from necessary evil to growth opportunity.
The old axiom, “time is money,” is especially applicable to the world of technology as most tools are designed to save the user time in executing a particular task. By creating efficiencies in everyday tasks or for infrequent but laborious processes, the time savings allow employees to refocus in other areas. The technology itself may not be a revenue driver, but it should free up employees for activities that are.
You can find myriad potential applications and examples, which could include anything from accounting software that aids in managing transactions or creating invoices, to CRMs and marketing automation that allow technology to take over actions that would be difficult or impossible to manage by hand.
In the shift to a cloud-based ecosystem, many businesses are benefiting from the ease with which they can access and share information. The use-cases range from easier distribution through their marketing channels to remote access to company information. The ability to manage the businesses without being in the brick-and-mortar office allows for tremendous flexibility that’s not only convenient, but can also be vital for expansion.
As employee headcount grows, scaling and operational concerns arise in everything from fleet management to database access. Whether employees are under the same roof or working remotely, this newfound ease of sharing also improves collaboration between teams.
Perhaps the most readily sought-after technology investments are in the areas of security. Whether it’s the software or hardware that keeps people out or the redundancy mechanisms that keep things running in an emergency, ensuring that no halts in regular operations occur can be a vital undertaking.
Any business shutdown, whether from hackers holding the business hostage or inclement weather keeping employees at home, can be incredibly costly in a variety of ways. The potential damage in fees paid to a hacker to bring a website back online, lost revenue while operations are halted, or even a damaged reputation are often far more costly than the measures one can put in place to prevent them.
So whenever you’re considering a new technology, everything can be categorized as a proactive growth opportunity or preventative measure. Weigh the potential gains against the potential consequences of inaction, and consider how they align with business goals. It’s important to look beyond the mere trends and consider why some technologies are picking up steam and if or how they can help your team as well.
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