Every year, corporations invest more of their budget into technology. In the highest-performing companies, more than 57 percent of CIOs consider their ability to manage technological transformations one of their greatest strengths. That’s because such transformations are difficult to manage successfully.
Without technological expertise, getting the most value out of any new technology can be a big challenge. Fortunately, it isn’t impossible. The key is to consider the technology as another piece of the puzzle that makes up your overall business strategy and then invest in helping employees use the technology to adhere to that strategy more successfully.
The Biggest Hiccups
Investing in technology for your company is a bit like investing in insurance as a company benefit. It will come with an annual cost in order for employees to utilize it. In the case of technology, that cost is largely spent on infrastructure, licensing, and support.
For example, employees may need new devices, which is largely dependent on the nature of the technology you’ve invested in. You’ll have to purchase licensing for programs like Microsoft 365, as well as advanced accounting, graphic design, or other specialized software for employees.
You’ll also have to consider how much support you should invest in to ensure that all employees have the help they need when they need it. Businesses often fail to consider this per annum cost for each employee and end up with restraints that prevent them from maximizing their investment.
In addition to infrastructure, licensing, and support, security is the other major focus when maximizing technology. Some industries, such as financial and healthcare services, require companies to exercise extremely tight security over their technology. Company assets are locked down, and nothing can be installed without approval from IT. Emails and other communications have to be safeguarded for at least seven years.
Even if other industries aren’t as restricting, security is still paramount. Simple things like forcing employees to change their passwords every 60 to 90 days should be non-negotiable. But without the right preparation, even simple security measures can seem like monumental tasks. To get over the security hurdle, you have to balance enforcing the rules with allowing as much flexibility as possible for employees to be productive.
Start with Onboarding and Outsourcing
For most businesses, maximizing a technology investment begins with onboarding. The investment should include minimal training for everyone and more extensive training for a dedicated, in-house superuser. This person will be your company’s go-to for mastering the new tech’s business applications.
For example, if you’re using a cloud-based sales or customer-relationship tool such as Salesforce, then your superuser can control who has access to what within your company. Dedicating one person to learn all of the system’s bells and whistles can reduce your need to invest in outsourced technical support.
For everything else, such as routine maintenance (or technical plumbing) of installing security patches and software updates, outsourcing is often the better option. To function optimally, your software and security measures have to stay up-to-date. Your superuser will be too busy to heap those tasks onto his or her plate as well — especially in the beginning.
You can’t let this maintenance fall by the wayside. One missed update and your entire system could be vulnerable, or employees will be forced to reboot, log out, and log back in multiple times because their hardware isn't working properly.
Like any finely tuned machine, keeping the gears running smoothly and efficiently can mean the difference between keeping your competitive advantage or losing it to unnecessary hiccups. For more information on maximizing your IT investment, set up a consultation assessment with us today.