When you decided to start your business, you had to be overwhelmed with everything that you had to do just to get it off the ground. If you are like many entrepreneurs, getting a product to market was the aim then, but as business continues and your organization grows, it’s likely that you’ve looked to technology as a benefit. So, when does the amount of technology you have become a hindrance to your bottom line? We will take a look at what happens when an organization takes their love of technology too far.
Some technology is a must, and as a technology provider we often see how organizations can look to technology to solve a lot of their operational problems. Technology can protect and disseminate data. Technology can fuel company-wide collaboration. Technology can ensure that deadlines are met, and work is assigned to the right people. What happens when there is too much technology that has to be used in order for people to effectively do their jobs?
Small businesses don’t always need the latest and greatest solutions in order to maximize their ability to generate revenue. More often than not, the more technology an employee has to deal with, the more stress it will create for that worker, especially if the work that they are tasked with has nothing to do with technology. For example, a CRM is a great way to manage both your customers and interdepartmental communications, leaving expectations well-established, but if you have five employees, it may just be overkill (even if they each operate as their own department). You simply don’t need to track how long things take, how your customers relate with your company, and all the other things that a dedicated CRM can do for a company, because with five people on staff, you can get a pretty good idea how they are doing by just observing their work-related behaviors. That’s not to say that a CRM program isn’t useful--of course it is--but, until you have a large customer base filled with a multitude of relationships, and a staff that needs centralized software to be their most productive, it probably isn’t software you need if you are trying to get the most productivity out of a limited number of employees.
That’s just one example. Any technology that isn’t absolutely necessary can be a waste of both money and time for your business, so you need to be diligent about implementing the technology you need, and tabling implementations that may be too costly to run at this juncture. The best way to ascertain if a technology is right for your small business is to look at its potential ROI. We’ll use a CRM again. If you run a business with five employees, the time spent utilizing the CRM may actually cost your company sales, the direct opposite intention of the software. However, if you run a business with 40 people in four different departments, chances are that there is simply too much data, and too many relationships to manage without a solution dedicated to helping your staff oversee it all.
On the other hand, if you are an established business who has had their shingle out for several years, has a dedicated customer base, and is still growing, technology can be a major benefit, except when it’s really old. Old tech not only doesn’t have the operational effectiveness that it once did, it also opens your organization up to increased management and support costs, and risk of security breaches.
Some organizations hold on to their technology too long because they need legacy programs to effectively deliver their products and services, while others hit a financial wall and have to table their IT improvements for a time. Whichever, it can leave your organization’s IT a mess and can have unfortunate effects on your business that include:
- Loss of productivity: Older technology is slower and often isn’t compatible with newer operating systems or productivity and management software, effectively slowing down your business.
- Problems with security: Despite the numerous software patches that developers put out, there is a definite correlation between the use of older technology and the security issues that happen due to antiquated software.
- Redundancy: Many times technology is the solution to the redundancy issue, but when an organization has a mix of new and old technology, it often requires work to be made compatible for older and newer software. This could take precious man-hours to navigate.
- Loss of opportunity: Most consumers utilize the Internet to find the products and services they purchase, if your online presence is a single page with neon text, today’s consumer will likely judge that negatively. Having an active web and online presence goes a long way toward keeping your business top of mind for consumers. Moreover, by not using new online technology, you may be limiting your ability to connect with the audience your organization desperately needs to compete.
These are only a few examples of how old technology can be a detriment to your business. At XFER, we are well positioned to help the burgeoning small business find, implement, and manage the technology that will be most effective for their particular circumstances. Our technicians have years of experience with getting the right tech into the hands of the people that can best use it, so if your company is looking to see if the technology you’re using is right for your business, contact us today at 734-927-6666 / 800-Get-XFER.