Are you thinking about adding new tech to your business? The problem with doing this is that it can all look so exciting that you can end up with the wrong tools, tech that is really not useful to you or at least not useful enough to justify the expense and other drawbacks. When thinking about the impact of tech on business activity, below are a few things to consider before you take the plunge.
Is it cost effective? Can you afford it? Is it overpriced? Is the cost likely to change significantly in the near future? How much money do you expect to save with it? If the cost is substantial, you really need to weigh the below factors even more carefully. Even though companies that show creative thinking usually find success, you don't want to end up in a situation where you have sunk a considerable amount of your company's resources into something that has too many drawbacks.
Does it solve a problem? This might be the single most important question to ask. If you aren't sure, check with your employees or your customers, whoever will be affected by the tech, and find out what they think. In some cases, there might be clear advantages. This is the case for something like tachograph analysis for a fleet, which offers an all-in-one compliance solution. Compliance is unambiguously necessary when it comes to fleet management. On the other hand, beware of tech that promises to solve a problem that you never realized you had. Determine whether the need is a genuine one or not.
What kind of learning curve are you looking at? Will it slow down your production, fulfillment, ability to respond to customer complaints, or other aspects of your business? Will you need to retrain staff? If the answer to the previous two questions is yes, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go ahead with the new tech, but it does mean that you need to make allowances for those things. Keep in mind as well that if the tech is genuinely unwieldy, you risk a staff revolt.
Can the tech grow with you? Is it compatible with your other systems? Does it seem like something that is here to stay? Are other companies using it? How does the company that makes it foresee themselves continuing to develop it in the future? When something is brand new, it may be tough to make some of these assessments, but at minimum, you need to determine whether it can adapt in its existing form to the growth you anticipate over the next year or two.
How safe is the new tech? Will it create new opportunities for hackers to get into your system? Does it protect customer or client data? This may be one to talk to your IT team about, particularly since features that seem relatively innocuous to you can spell trouble down the road. A corollary is noting how responsive the company responsible for the tech it is. If a security issue does crop up, does the company take steps to patch it or remedy it in some other way, or does it try to downplay any danger?