Information technology plays a significant role in today’s business landscape. It helps organizations achieve operational excellence, provide exceptional customer experience, and foster innovation. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your company uses efficient and modern IT. That doesn’t mean you should procure and deploy every available solution, however.
To help you decide if you should move forward with investing in a new IT solution for your business, ask these seven questions first:
1. Does the new technology support your business’s goals?
Identify the potential benefits that the new technology can offer your business. Will it advance your company by boosting your bottom line, streamlining processes for your employees, or improving the overall customer experience?
For instance, the use of biometric technology such as fingerprint and facial recognition scans can make it easier for employees to sign in to the company network, while eliminating outdated security solutions like passwords. Meanwhile, the use of chatbots can make it easier for your business to answer your customers’ questions even if you are closed for the day or don’t have enough people to do so.
If the IT solution does not help your business achieve what it currently set out to do, then that solution is not worth the investment.
2. Does the intended user want it?
To reap the full potential benefits of the new technology, you have to ensure that it will be used by your staff. If your employees feel that the IT solution complicates their job, they might opt to not use it. Or if your customers find that the tech is too cumbersome or time-consuming, they might take their business elsewhere.
Avoid such scenarios by asking your IT provider if the product can be tested first. Involve the intended users during this trial period so you can determine how well the new technology will work for your company.
3. What is the total cost of ownership?
When weighing the potential revenue or savings that new technology will bring against its cost, make sure to take into account not just the purchase price, but all associated expenses as well. These include the costs related to installation, training, support and maintenance, and upgrades, among others.
Also, check if the new technology will require another solution to make it work. If you’re purchasing new software, for instance, will it require you to purchase a specific hardware or upgrade the one you already have?
4. Can you get a similar solution at a cheaper price or for free?
Before investing in the new technology, evaluate all alternatives, including those that you don’t have to pay for. There are plenty of product comparison sites that you can use to help you compare the features available for all paid and free versions of similar solutions. Using these might help you find a better deal for your business
5. Is it compatible with your current systems?
Make sure that the new technology will integrate well with your existing systems. It should speak the same programming language as your other IT solutions so that they will work seamlessly together.
6. What can you expect from customer support and product development?
Many IT solutions become so essential to your business operations that they become very difficult to replace. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your new technology provider gives outstanding customer support, maintenance, and upgrades.
Case in point: many businesses are still using Internet Explorer for their legacy applications. They refuse to move away from it because doing so will cost a lot of money. As the browser is set to be discontinued in 2022, however, Microsoft is helping companies transition to more modern solutions like Microsoft Edge.
7. What are other companies in your industry using?
Are your competitors using the same technology? If they are, observe their experiences with it. Doing so may help you discover better ways to implement the same technology, or realize that you need an alternative.
If they're not, it doesn't mean you should immediately disregard the new technology you're considering either. It could be that the solution they're using fits their needs. If you're not already, you may even look into your competitors' tech and see if they meet your business's unique needs better than your current options do.
If you’re still unsure about the best way to go when procuring new technology for your Baltimore, Annapolis, or Towson business, NetQuest is here to help. Our expert consultants will identify and address problematic areas of your IT infrastructure and develop a solution using the right technology. To learn more about how we can help you, get a FREE IT consultation today.