All businesses need to leverage technology if they want to remain competitive in the marketplace. However, sometimes the disadvantages of technology can make your business life more complicated rather than easy.
So before you buy the latest technology gadget or give up on an existing tech tool, here are three tips to help you make sure that the disadvantages of technology won’t just complicate business.
Once you’ve define your goals, choose technology that supports your goals and adds value to your business. First, define your minimum requirements that you want to get out the technology and then define the ‘nice-to-have’.
Now you’re ready to do your research. If you don’t have the time to do all the research, consider hiring a consultant to help you determine the best technologies to support your goals. As organizational expert Barbara Hemphill says, “half of any job is having the right tools”. If the technology you choose adds value to your bottom line, then you know you have the right tool.
There’s always some new technology coming out each day that may tempt you with their “new and improved” proclamations. You really have to stay focused on your goals to make sure that any decisions to purchase new or updated technology really support your vision. The cost and time associated with upgrading or changing technology can make things complicated, so be sure to work with a trusted advisor or use tech resources on the web to help you make a decision about existing and new technology.
Once you’ve chosen your technology tools the next step is to make sure that you learn how to use them effectively for your business. The key to a successful technology training program is not just learning the features of the tool but learning how to use the features within a business context. Don’t let fear or lack of time prevent you from getting training. Investing in training can save you lot of time and help you work more efficiently in the long run. Most technology tools are only as good as the owner so training is important.
You know the old saying “use it or lose it”? And that definitely applies to technology. This part shouldn’t be too hard because you choose the technology to support your goals. So if you’re serious about achieving your goals, using the technology and incorporating it into your daily routine, will be requirement for your success.
While some technology tools can be great for productivity, there are some that, while important to the business, can also be drain on productivity. Certain tools such as cell phones, chat, instant message, emails are important in a business but can be overwhelming if you don’t make sure that you set boundaries for their usage. Tech tools that give people instant access to you can be great for business but can also be a major source of interruption when you’re working on other tasks.
To minimize loss of productivity from the disadvantages of technology, make sure that you set specific times to be available via these tools and turn them off during non-available times. Make sure that you use the custom ‘away’ message for when you’re not available. Use these messages to let people know when you’ll be available again. Let your clients and colleagues know which is the best method for contacting you and let them know your response time. Sometime that can help reduce duplicate messages you may get because someone cannot reach you via one method.
The tips above are a start to helping a company fully maximizing technology while keeping complications to a minimum. Implement one or all of the tips above and you’ll help to make your business life a little less complicated.