Replacing technology? 3 steps to making sure you get it right
2019 is another big year for technology. As more options become available to transform our businesses, choosing the right platform and technology partner to provide you with the best outcome is as crucial as ever.
But how do you make sure you’ve got it right? Here are my three top tips to making sure you nail your technology projects, based on both our experience internally and working with our clients.
Plan for it appropriately
As an old saying but one that rings true today as much as it ever has: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Planning your technology changes is critical and should be included as part of your overall strategic planning process. We include this as a part of all our business planning sessions: Having the right tools for our team, both now and into the future, is as big a part of our success as any other area.
Once you’ve included it in your planning, the next item to look at is your budget. My advice is to make sure you adequately fund your project. Sit down with your finance team and make sure that you are putting aside the right amount to fund your project(s). If you or your team are writing a business case in support of it, make sure you mandate that a strong, accurate budget is included in that process.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, plan for it terms of the people in your team spending the time on the project itself. Make sure they have the time and resources to make it happen. Don’t skimp on this part: This is crucial to be able to deliver your new technology. A strong technology partner should be able to assist you here.
Be open to new ideas
With the rapid rate of technology change, my advice is to go into a technology project with your eyes open. Be prepared to have your ideas challenged and be open-minded to the options available to you. You will find that you deliver a better outcome to the business if you understand all the options. Give yourself or your team the time to research the different options, looking at user case studies as an example.
It pays to also think about how you’re going to purchase the technology. In my view, it’s better to ‘buy the milk, not the cow,’ i.e., renting technology over buying it outright. For example, with so many good SAAS models around, buying software on a per month use contract gives you the flexibility to pay for what you’re using with a massive capexupfront. It also gives you the ability to change if the platform doesn’t work out as you had hoped.
Think beyond today
It pays in any technology project to think beyond your current needs alone. Where I’ve seen businesses make a mistake is when they fail to look beyond their current needs, planning a technology spend that gives there very little scope for future developments. It’s worth understanding what you’ll need in 5 years as much as today’s need. Two of our clients, McCormack Barber Real Estate and Hughes & Co Lawyers, have done just that in terms of how they approach technology.
Also, it pays to understand how your platform will adapt over the life of your contract. Look at your maintenance and support package as an example: How long does it run for, and what does it include? What’s the future roadmap for the technology your buying? It pays to ask your technology partner up front to ensure they’re on the journey with you.
Interested in finding out more about how Inland Digital can work with you on your technology requirements? Click here to talk to us about your specific technology projects.