Is This New Technology Right For Your Business? 10 Helpful Factors To Consider
Your business is constantly evolving, as is the technology you use to keep things running. While it doesn’t always make sense to upgrade a tool or invest in a brand-new solution, sometimes it’s more efficient and cost-effective to jump on the latest developments.
Given the cost of certain technologies, it may be a big financial decision to adopt a new tech tool. That’s why we asked Forbes Technology Council members how a business owner can determine if a certain tool is right for their organization. Here are a few important factors to consider when making your decision.
1. Cultural And Strategy Fit
Don’t follow the crowd—make sure that the new technology is mature and fits within your culture and business strategy. Watch how the new technology is being embraced and the issues that occur. Then decide if it is time for your company to use this technology. – Ray Murphy, Leo Cyber Security
2. Larger Business Potential
If it’s a business process that can be consistently handled in a manual manner, then it’s ripe for a tech investment. In addition, if it’s a technology that will open a new distribution channel or optimize customer lifetime value, then we consider it. – Jen Grogono, uStudio
3. Scalability And Efficiency
We take security, scalability and efficiency into account when deciding on whether or not a technology is right for our organization. If a technology solution will help us maximize efficiency and scale easily, without sacrificing security, we would be interested in evaluating that solution. – Robert Morcos, Social Mobile
4. Total Cost Of Ownership
While it’s easy to get caught up in purchasing the latest and greatest technology, total cost of ownership, including the efficient use of the technology and operational costs, must play a pivotal role in any tech purchase decision. Efficient use means that the technology is easy to deploy, can be easily integrated with legacy systems and will have high utilization rate when in use. Operational costs include the expenses incurred to operate, support and maintain the new technology. In addition, organizations must weigh how a new technology will help improve overall productivity. Ultimately, the goal is to maximize return on investment, which means minimizing TCO and maximizing productivity. Beyond that, it’s important to consider the timing for implementing new technologies—looking at the roll-out process and how much training, implementation time and other resources will be involved so the number of hiccups and disruption to existing projects are minimized. – Kam Eshghi, Lightbits Labs
5. The Learning Curve
There are many crucial aspects to consider. It’s easy to be seduced by the perceived opportunity, but this may represent the best-case scenario ignoring the potential risks, blind spots and hidden costs, of which there are often many. These include learning curve, personnel training, monitoring and maintenance—which may be high if talent in the new tech has not yet caught up to meet demand. ROI is a factor, as always, but in the case of a new tech, it may be harder to predict the schedule of investments versus returns due to a scarcity of case studies. The decision whether to consider adopting an immature tech is made easier if few stakeholders are involved, a small-scale trial is possible and most importantly, the organization supports experimentation. – Tom Salvat, CONCURED
6. The Business Problems It Could Solve
There are certainly several factors to consider when evaluating new technologies for potential adoption. You have to consider how the technology really solves your business problem or helps to fuel further innovation. Businesses cannot just chase the shiny new tool without first having a clear vision for its core purpose and ability to adapt to the changing technical landscape. – Mark Pryor, The Seam
7. Digital And Physical Security
In their eagerness to innovate, creators and adopters of new technologies too often overlook the security properties of their creations. Good security, both physical and digital, is a fundamental component of any successful project, and will become even more significant with the rise of global connectivity and the Internet of Things. Failure to design for security from the outset, on the other hand, can have costly and far-reaching consequences for both the organization and its users. Balancing good security with ease-of-use is a major challenge of good systems design. – Mike Segal, DigitalX
8. Setup Time Versus Time Saved
We are a cybersecurity company, so that aspect is key for us. So we do our own due diligence on new tech we use internally. Apart from that, we consider how much time it will take to set up/operate versus how much time it will save us. If the benefits are incremental, sometimes it’s not worth adding another tech. We take recommendations from other people in our industry who have been using it already as well. – Galina Antova, Claroty
9. The Customer Impact
We evaluate whether the technology will contribute to delighting our customers when deciding to integrate a new tech. For example, if the technology will allow us to scale more quickly, easily or less expensively, we would be inclined to adopt it as a means for improving our customers’ experience. – Charles Silver, Permission.io Inc.
10. Whether It’s Truly Necessary
I’m typically hesitant to jump to the next greatest product due to the unforeseen overhead of technical and social integration that is required for a technology to become successful. We must pay for 100-plus SaaS products, but probably only five are deeply embedded. Most software aims to improve productivity but does the opposite. The best ways to improve productivity are to focus on good habits and processes, and so I find a trigger-happy approach to new technology unwise. – Rory San Miguel, Propeller