Investing in new IT solutions can make your team more productive, ensure compliance with industry regulations, and improve the outputs you deliver to your customers. However, if you really want to get the most out of your IT investments, there are some big mistakes you need to avoid. Read on to find out what mistakes other companies have made when investing in new technology and how to avoid doing the same.
BUYING THE NEWEST SHINYEST TECH
Marketing messages tell you that the newest technology will solve all your problems. While the latest cloud or virtualization offering may improve efficiency or reduce costs, there is no "one size fits all" solution. Remember that advertisers and marketers get paid to sell products and are not experts on what will work best for your company.
Avoid getting getting pulled into the glow of "latest and greatest" products. Before holding any conversations or buying sessions, understand at the core level, what you need technology to achieve for your company. Have your list of goals in hand, when investigating potential IT purchases. Working with a knowledgeable IT provider who understands your company needs and goals can go a long way toward making the right decisions for IT investments.
ASSUMING ALL TECH PLAYS NICE TOGETHER
While new technology often evolves into an easier-to-use and more "friendly" format, this doesn't necessarily apply to the back end components such as networking, security or fulfilling industry "standards". Some products are just fine when layered upon existing technology, but some are not, due to proprietary requirements for authentication, permissions or data format. Technologies that don't play nice together can cause hours of downtime for users and headaches for your IT team. Research is key in avoiding such issues. Working with a qualified IT provider, who can ask the right questions and make sure the answers meet your technical and business goals, can help to make sure everything will work together as expected. .
ASSUMING YOUR TEAM WILL JUST KNOW HOW IT WORKS
Once you have your new tech in place, and everything works as it's supposed to, that doesn't mean the work is done. A new system has many new features that now need to be tested and rolled out to employees, to maximize the return on your investment. Your IT team must now become an expert on your new tech, so they can support it and train employees on how to use it.
Even with excellent training, not all of your employees will not get up to speed as quickly with your new tech, and try to hold on to the "old way" of doing things. User adoption of new tech is critical to its success within in your organization and your IT team needs to provide training with this idea in mind or engage the services of an experienced training and technology provider.
SPENDING YOUR WHOLE IT BUDGET
It goes without saying that you should be cautious about investing too much of your IT budget into any one technology. To avoid this, many cloud-based applications now offer a monthly "subscription" cost, to make it easier to fit the cost across your budget. Just be aware that adding several applications like this in a short time will be easier for costs, but more complicated in the aspect of providing overlapping, and possibly confusing, user training and support in the attempt to get everyone quickly up to speed in everything, at once.
IGNORING USER NEEDS
Another aspect of user adoption is usefulness of a new technology. To avoid costly rollout-then-rollback scenarios, make sure the new product will actually meet needs and offer additional desired features for its target users. Ask for feedback from users before purchasing, to make sure there aren't any showstopper issues related to processes or procedures, that your buying team isn't aware of.
Take time to understand your company needs and budget realities. Then, do the research to ensure that new tech will integrate with existing systems and enhance existing business practices. It may help to consult an experienced IT provider on important technology decisions, to reduce possible frustration and wasted spending.