Adopting and successfully implementing new and effective technology is vital for every organization’s sustained success in today’s marketplace. However, with the rapidly changing technological advances, it can be a financial burden to consistently buy new technology. That’s why understanding how to best future-proof your existing business technology, and how to make smart investments in new technology are important parts of the formula for success. Here are some things to think about on that front
It’s Not About the Technology, It’s About the People
Technology is a driving force in business, but without people who know how to properly utilize new and existing technology, it is of no use. For many companies, future-proofing the workforce in control of the technology is often an afterthought—but it shouldn’t be. As you think about what technology you need to drive your business success, make sure you’re involving your team, a/k/a users of this technology, in the process, and getting their insights and input as part of the process. Not only will that lead to smarter upgrades or purchases, it will likely lead to increased user adoption and satisfaction overall with the business technology solutions.
Avoid Bandwagons and Bright Shiny Objects
There is always some new technology on the market that is hailed as something that will ‘revolutionize how business is conducted.’ And maybe that’s true. But it’s also 100% okay to refrain from being an early adopter and letting others take those first dives into new equipment, platforms, functionalities, and watching and learning from their experiences. An important element of future-proofing your business is thinking long-term, and adopting a new technology before it’s been properly tested in a real-world enterprise environment can pose serious risks. Sometimes, those risks are worth it, and in other instances, giving new technology a little time is a smart idea. This is also where working with a trusted vendor partner can help because they have experience working with a myriad of other clients and can bring best in class solutions to your needs, with real world case studies and experiences with other clients that will benefit you and your company.
Upgrading, Updating, and Backing Up
Upgrading to new technology is always tempting, but updating existing software and hardware is key in future-proofing your business technology. Using outdated software and hardware can not only slow essential business functions down, it can also leave your company vulnerable to security breaches. Old systems lack the necessary security measures needed in today’s marketplace. Upgrading existing systems will ensure your organization’s technology has up-to-date security measures, and will simultaneously speed up day-to-day business functions. Even with current updates, system outages are still a possibility.
In addition, it is impossible to overstate the importance of backing up data and having disaster recovery plans in place in case of an outage or disaster. Outages occur when least expected, and can lead to the permanent loss of invaluable information and data. Your company can combat the loss of data caused by outages by backing up existing hardware and software. Keep your company, your customers, and your data safe by making sure your systems are up-to-date, upgraded when required, and covered by a reliable backup plan on an ongoing basis.
Always Keep Learning
In today’s world of tech evolution at the veritable speed of light, it pays to commit to always learning about new and emerging technologies. Find and read content created and/or shared by industry thought leaders and media outlets, connect with peers who are experimenting with different technology, pay attention to your competitors and what you see them doing. All of these things will help keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening and give you an edge when it comes to making decisions for your business and technology needs.
Be Adaptable and Open to Change
Technology is evolving more rapidly than ever before, in part driven by Big Data and capabilities it affords businesses. It used to be that companies developed an architecture designed to stand the test of time. In today’s business world, the smart move is to build knowing you’ll need to adapt, modify, and grow along the way. Being open to change, adaptable, and agile as it relates to all things about your business, and your business technology, in general, will serve you well when it comes to future-proofing. Big data has changed everything about how businesses operate today and
In summary, successfully future-proofing your business technology today relies on common sense, a pragmatic approach that takes culture into consideration and involves users in the process, smart data handling and protection, a commitment to continuous learning, and being agile and adaptable to change, which is inevitable.