Today’s successful businesses must fully exploit technology to achieve important goals. Unfortunately many struggle to reap maximum results from their technology choices. In a study by CompTIA about the business relevance of technology in small businesses, 58% of owners or management rated the ROI of their technology investment as good or excellent. For the others, dissatisfaction included the ongoing costs of maintenance, challenging system upgrades and other issues involving reliability and complexity.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Well-managed technology with thoughtfully chosen devices and software makes a business more profitable and secure. The lack of disruption—by everything from system slowness to complete outages—creates a happier and more productive environment for employees and customers.
Re-focusing on the benefits of technology as opposed to its limitations takes effort. And doing it right requires investments and can create some short-term disruption. For many businesses it’s just much easier to live with the status quo—even if the losses outweigh the benefits of change.
But what if a business has finally had enough of the workarounds and slowdowns and lost backups, along with all the other pitfalls of poor technology choices? There is a solution and it starts with knowledge and planning.
In order to accurately evaluate technology changes, consider the pains solved and the goals met as part of the equation.
What will this change achieve and how will it impact the business? Businesses where all infrastructure components are well supported, software is up-to-date and warranties are current see an operational difference. How about taking steps to reduce the risk of an expensive breach? Whether the objective is improved communications, tighter inventory control or higher customer retention, technology that works properly is the key. Every business working toward increased growth needs a different recipe to reach their technology management target.
Calculate your ROI comprehensively
When thinking about technology, many businesses consider only the direct cost of purchasing, implementing and managing the environment. And any investment appears flawed when there is no obvious upside. In-house tech staff often knows that improvements are needed but finds it hard to make the case for better technology when costs are considered separately from the benefits. In order to accurately evaluate technology changes, consider the pains solved and the goals met as part of the equation.
Is Technology Management the best choice?
Some businesses use a reactive approach to technology by waiting until something breaks to get it fixed. These businesses tend to keep using equipment without vendor support until one day it just stops working altogether. If downtime, slowness and other typical problems don’t affect business productivity, this approach may be the best choice for them.
Many businesses have found that forging a close relationship with an outside company is the best way to keep technology on track to meet their industry challenges. The term “trusted advisor” is overused but the point is valid: when an advisor knows the big picture of their client’s goals they will make the right budgeting recommendations for the best technology needed to succeed.
Putting it all together
As difficult as it is for some business owners and managers to see the connection between technology and increased revenues, it is important to make a few calculations. Consider having a business with more employee and client satisfaction, fewer missed deadlines, less wasted time dealing with tech issues as the first step to embracing needed change. It can be frustrating to not be able to precisely measure the ROI of tech improvements in hard dollars but, when a company operates more smoothly, the benefits are immediate and apparent.