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How Not to Solve Every Business Problem with More Technology

Keeping up with the pace of technology is tough — but you might not have to. There’s always an allure to having the latest version of the newest product. But your organization probably has technology that’s not being used to its fullest potential.

It’s tempting to bring in shiny new solutions to solve your issues. But you should take a look at the resources you already have. Especially before spending more time, money, and effort toward something that may not be a complete fix.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before changing up your company’s technology.

1. Can your current tools do what you need?

Before shopping for the products newest bells and whistles, it’s important to take a good look at what you already have. After all, the first step to solving an issue is defining it. What are your current frustrations? After a deep dive, you might discover the hardware and software you’re already using in day-to-day operations isn’t used to its full capacity.

For example, the Microsoft 365 suite of products has many underutilized components that go beyond Excel and Powerpoint. Training your users is one way to get more out of your existing productivity software. Microsoft is always making tweaks to their products based on what users ask for. There’s a reason IT certifications expire.

If you decide you need to make more drastic changes, be sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Take a look at what’s out there by scouring industry publications and forums. It’s possible that your current tech will suffice. You’ll quickly learn that keeping up with current tech trends isn’t as difficult or time-consuming as you think.

2. Has your org fully adopted the cloud?

You should look at any hardware purchase for infrastructure with skepticism. It’s likely that there’s an IaaS product out there that virtualizes the task or physical item.

A 2017 survey found 80 percent of businesses plan to increase cloud management services. There is no doubt your employees will be happier knowing they’re using the most up-to-date technology. Having the ability to access work information from anywhere using file-sharing tools is a huge benefit.

One of the most important reasons to make the switch comes down to cost. If you have a shrinking IT budget, the cloud presents a cost-saving option that adds efficiency and scalability to your business. The amount of money your company would save in maintenance and energy costs alone make the decision an easier one.

3. Does a solution exist in your company already?

Before purchasing a new technology, it’s important to talk to other teams. It’s possible they’re already using a platform or service that has room for more users.

Particularly in large companies, divisions or teams purchase software a la carte. There’s probably a team that’s using a solution in your company. In these cases, it’s probably cheaper to hitch up to an existing account rather than find a new product. Even smaller companies are shockingly siloed, so ask around. There’s an added bonus if you can find a good internal solution — you can talk to the people who currently use the product.

For the biggest collaboration platforms out there, like Jira and Salesforce, they have massive application libraries. By bolting one of the purpose-built apps onto the system everyone else is already using, you’ll be able to hit the ground running.

Taking the next step

Now that you know what to ask yourself, find out which components of your business are most in need of a technological facelift. Before implementing any changes, make sure you understand how to roll out the new technology to ensure the transition is a success.

 

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