No matter the size of a company, its technology is simultaneously one of its most important and expensive investments. From hardware like laptops and tablets to software solutions, finding the right technology is a major part of creating a modern operation.
In recent years, artificial intelligence has exploded into the business technology limelight with promises of groundbreaking business optimizations, slashed costs, and improved employee work-life balances. However, after years of billions of dollars being poured into these new advancements, many businesses are reporting that they're experiencing little to no return on their investment that promised so much. Where is the hangup? Why isn't this new technology delivering on the promises that a technology firm made?
The reality is that technology is incredibly important, but is not meant to do all of the "heavy lifting" on its own.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and ended up spending many summer days with my grandfather in is workshop. He would make handcrafted swings, cedar chests, signs, and puzzles. Meanwhile, I'd be lucky to make a decent birdhouse. Having proper training, experience, and knowledge of your toolkit and how to make the most of it is what made the difference between my grandad's art and my... best effort.
In the business world, technology is the tool that gets put to work - but having the right training procedures and business processes is what makes the difference between technology that works and technology that works well. Really, it comes down to three definitive factors.
A company's IT infrastructure is a lot like a puzzle; it won't come together to make a beautiful picture if the pieces aren't fitting together. The key is finding the right tools that fit with the way that you work and ensuring that everyone on your team is trained and ready to use them each day.
Once those two goals have been reached, you're able to ensure compatibility with not only companywide technology, but also compatibility between your technology and the businesses processes that power the way your team works each day.
As your team gains more experience, it's natural that operations and capabilities expand. New services are offered, new products are rendered, and new processes pop up to make it all possible. When selecting a software solution to help build a foundation for the future of your business, it's important to keep these new extensions in mind to ensure that the technology you rely on is capable of accomplishing the tasks that you throw at it each day.
New opportunities lead to new expansions, growing your company's team, its services, and its future. Planning for what the future holds is important at all septs in the business journey, including in choosing the right technology solutions.
It's important to find a technology partner that provides up-to-date hardware, scalable software, and reliable support to make sure that company time isn't spent on tackling technology issues, but on serving your clients and building for the future.
For companies who have invested in technology and are frustrated in their returns, it's important to analyze the broader picture and consider every factor that goes into achieving the original goals. Does your team need proper training? What is the adoption rate and utilization of your tech? Is the software that you're using the right fit for the way that you work?
Ultimately, it comes back to the realization technology is not the sole solution to challenges that a team may be facing. Technology is a means to an end - albeit a very important one. Having a right technology powering business processes provides the opportunity to make smarter decisions and ultimately create a brighter future for your business.