10 questions to ask yourself before adopting new technology in business
Adopting new technology in business isn’t a simple task. It takes time and resources to make sure that you’ve found the right solution and that it will make a positive impact on your bottom line.
We spend a lot of time discussing our technology and how it can help businesses unlock new revenue streams. Many of the conversations have shown us that decision-makers often have a common set of concerns. In this blog post, we share a list of 10 questions you should ask yourself before adopting new technology in your business. We hope that these will help you on your journey to finding new disruptive technologies.
1. Are you afraid of adopting new technology in business?
Technology is being produced at a rapid rate. In the digital marketing world, an annual report that tracks the number of new marketing software solutions on the market each year shows growth of 40% since last year. That’s over 1,000 new marketing solutions now available to help businesses engage their customers.
The sheer volume of solutions would be enough to overwhelm a marketer. There’s the fear of integrations not working, the solution being too complex to learn and more.
Having a fear of technology is not an uncommon thing, but it can be bad for your bottom line, especially if your competitor is not afraid to make decisions and test new disruptive technologies.
2. Is your business slow to implement new technology?
There is no business that is immune to the threat which comes with ignoring technology that can disrupt old industries. Take Amazon for example, who five years ago, were only seen as an e-commerce player. Today, they have made online purchases a seamless process and are viewed as the single biggest threat to retail giant Walmart.
If you’re slow at adopting new technology in business, track new technology that influences your customers regularly to stay ahead of trends.
3. Does your business currently use technology optimally?
It happens regularly in businesses: companies spend tens and even hundreds of thousands of Rands on technology that is either underutilised or sometimes not used at all. This may be due to a number of reasons: anything from complexity and lack of customisation, to the speed at which the technology allows its users to perform certain functions.
When adopting new technology in business that is easy to integrate, automate and maintain into your business could help you achieve more, provided that you investigate and understand all facets of the new technology and how it could make a difference within your business.
4. Is your technology outdated?
Many organisations rely on old and outdated platforms to perform core functions for their business, which is a risky practice. It impacts everything you do and even your business’ valuation and sale price.
Old platforms develop software vulnerabilities, lack support from the vendor (if the software has long been discontinued) and a typically have very limited integration capabilities.
Reviewing your technology stack regularly helps you take care of the risk of relying on outdated technology and enables you to leverage newer technologies through integrations.
5. Is your technology stack helping you increase your bottom line?
In the last five years, we’ve seen mobile payments grow in large strides. Large and small retailers have adopted the technology and generated revenue streams that never existed almost a decade ago.
Your technology stack should support your business objectives. In every business, generating revenue is what matters most.
Examine your technology stack and ask yourself if there is any new technology that can help you increase your bottom line.
6. Is your boss hard to convince?
Getting buy-in from your boss may be a difficult thing to do. Often, lack of understanding, fear of pitching a concept which might be difficult to convey and the cost associated with adopting new technology can hold executives back from taking action.
Presenting a long-term view of where the business is going is the best way to get buy-in. Businesses are not built to last for only a year or the next few months. The rate of technology advancement, however, can see businesses quickly losing market share if they don’t adapt.
7. Do you have a team of technical staff to help you adopt new technologies?
Having the right people to help you integrate and manage new technology is essential to making it work. If your team doesn’t have the skills or is not large enough to manage the workload, explore ways to either upskill or outsource the development work.
8. Are your competitors using new technologies?
Knowing whether your competition is using new disruptive technologies should be on your list of things to check on regularly. If your competitors are using the new technology, that’s a sign that the integration process is possible and the technology can be adopted in a similar business.
If your competition is not using the new technology, explore the technology to understand what the upside is. Again, think long term. Just because your competition isn’t using it yet doesn’t mean that they aren’t busy integrating it.
9. If your competitors adopted a new disruptive technology, how much revenue would your business lose?
The most disruptive forms of technology cause massive shifts in customer spend. For example, Uber generated $103 million in revenue in 2013 and $6.5 billion in 2016. This rate of disruption came from a new way to look at transport.
While it’s difficult to determine how much revenue your business would lose, it’s important to consider how drastically new technology can shift a landscape and affect businesses, especially those that are caught on the back foot.
10. Can you build it internally?
Oftentimes, businesses seek out information about new technologies and decide to replicate them internally. It works for some, but can be a time-consuming and very expensive exercise if you don’t have the right team.
In cases where you do have the right team, it’s also worthwhile considering whether it makes business sense to invest your resources in developing new technology that can simply be licensed.
Adopting new technology in business can be a challenging endeavour. Considerations must be made about existing technology and its limitations, along with a long-term view of how your business will deliver customer value
Are you looking for new ways to generate revenue for your business?
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