Tech Issues That Your SMART Business Must Understand

The use of technology is more important than ever, deeply affecting all aspects of our lives. For the small business owner and business leader, technology has important effects on business operations, regardless of the size of the business.

Technology, if used the right way, can considerably increase your productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Many entrepreneurs jump right into the use of technology without understanding the risks technology can pose. Here are important things you should understand by using technology for your business.

Leveraging vs Leaning

There are two ways to utilize technology: lean on it vs leverage it. What’s the difference? When I was in Iraq in the middle of a mission, the power went out, shutting down our computers, radios, and other important equipment. We initially looked at each other a little embarrassingly, our ability to function significantly stymied by our over-reliance on technology.

Fortunately, we were trained for contingencies such as this and was able to move forward. It was an important lesson, the enemy, or the competition, won’t stop fighting just because of your technology problems. By leaning too much on technology, when it falls, you fall.

Leveraging technology, on the other hand, is using it to promote growth, become more efficient, and more productive. There is a big difference between the two. One exposes you to much greater risk, while the other allows you to be more flexible in adapting to innovation.

Some companies are so over-reliant on a particular piece of software or hardware, they find it difficult to move a more innovative and cost-effective IT solution. Obviously, each industry is different. The important thing to understand is to see technology as a tool to use to thrive, not use it as a crutch so you can just survive.

K.I.S.S – Keep it Simple Stupid!

I am an earlier adopter when it comes to technology. I like the latest and greatest and to test different pieces of hardware and software. I quickly learned however that for many people presenting all of my tech adoption ideas can be overwhelming.

Keep things simple. Focus on IT tools that are easy to use, understand, and still effective. Avoid complicated processes and IT that require many steps. The chances of making mistakes go up. This goes the same for IT hardware.

For example, companies that have need parts counting scales to convert the weight of a batch of parts into the number of pieces in that batch need to have IT hardware and software that is simple to use. A complicated process can be made simple with the right technology!

Understand the Trade-Offs

Using technology doesn’t necessarily mean everything will improve. It works best when the trade-offs that developers make are tailored to your company’s requirements. Many companies can’t afford that type of work and have to use the best technology they can find.

You need to weigh the pros and cons of adopting new technology. An upgraded security app can increase its usability, but if the privacy is downgraded, it is worth it? What improvements are coming down the pipeline? Are the cons just temporary and will it impact your business? As a result, it’s vital that you carefully consider the impacts of the technology before signing on the dotted line.

Understand that Training Is Necessary 

Finally, you need to educate people on how to use technology for it to be effective. Without it, you could be purchasing an expensive piece of software that isn’t being used at its full potential.

Take time out of the schedule to either have the tech company or an in-house expert to come and spend some time to show how to maximize its uses and answer question. That training can greatly enhance your employees’ effectiveness. To make best use of training, come prepared. Think about the tasks you’re not good at, or have questions on, and get trained on how to to address them!

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