New technologies are constantly being developed in response to new problems or to create simpler ways to get regular tasks done.
Technology has great benefits for businesses. It can make data gathering and analysis faster and simpler, which can be used to make better, quicker decisions.
For example, Divvy is a newer expense management software that streamlines business finance reports, company cards, and budget monitoring. It makes keeping track of business finances easy.
However, it can also be hard to invest in new technology as as business. Multiple people have to learn how to use it, which can negatively affect productivity. There can also be technical glitches or difficulties that arise.
Additionally, technologies are continually updated. These changes are generally minor adjustments to increase security, add new features to increase use, or fix glitches. Sometimes the updates are more involved, so people have to re-learn the system.
There are three main ways that businesses can make integrating new technology a smooth and easy process:
- Do the research
- Provide training and support
- Ask for employee feedback
Do the research
New technology and software can be an expensive investment. However cool and exciting a technology can be, you don’t want to purchase something that your business doesn’t actually need.
So, as time-consuming as it may seem, doing the research first will help ensure that you make the best decisions for your business.
- What problems are you currently experiencing at your business?
- What processes do you need to have streamlined?
- Are there non-technology-based solutions to these issues?
- What is your budget for technology-based solutions?
These questions will help keep you honest with yourself about your business’s actual needs and stick to your price point.
A specific list of features and price point, which will help you avoid unnecessary and expensive purchases.
It’s also a good idea to ask the sales representative lots of questions about the product and the company. Some good questions are:
- How often is the software updated?
- What happens when there is a problem with the technology?
- How quickly are technical issues resolved?
- What changes or updates are anticipated?
- Does the company offer training support for companies that are transitioning?
These questions will give you a sense of how well the company supports its customers and how well its software works.
If the software you’re considering accesses sensitive data, it’s also important to know what security measures exist within the software. Enhancing internet security is key to ensuring that the software works at its best, especially if it is an internet-based technology.
As you start to become more serious about implementing a new technology, it’s a good idea to ask for employee input, especially from the employees who will be the most affected by the change.
- What features do employees like?
- What new features would they like to have?
- What are some unforeseen negative consequences that may happen?
- How will your business and employees respond or act to either mitigate or prevent these consequences?
Employee input will be invaluable as you evaluate new technology and make a plan to implement it in your business.
Provide training and support
Once you’ve decided to adopt a new technology into your business, it’s important to have a strategic game plan.
Answering the following questions will help you create a solid plan for integration.
- How long will the old processes take to phase out?
- How much training on the new processes will be given?
- When will the transition start?
- Who will the change affect the most?
- What transition support will your business provide to employees?
- What transition support will the software designer provide?
The better the preparation and planning, the smoother the transition will go.
Ask for employee feedback
Thompson also notes the importance of employee involvement. Involving employees by asking for feedback will help you make better decisions and create better implementation plans. Asking for feedback is as easy as saying:
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- What could we do differently next time?
If you take the feedback seriously, it will help you develop better implementation processes for the next time you add a new technology.
Taking the time to thoughtfully research in your business will ensure that you make the best decisions for your business. A thoughtful plan will help make the implementation process successful and pleasant for your employees. Their feedback and suggestions will continually improve your implementation methods.
About the Author
Alice Stevens manages content for BestCompany.com. She specializes in life and health insurance, car warranty, internet service providers, and logo design companies.