The pace of technological change is faster than ever, and that is creating an unexpected dilemma for many companies. Technologies that they have relied on for years are quickly becoming obsolete, while the price and capability of new technologies is improving all the time. That is forcing companies to ask if now is the time to implement the “next version” or rely on an alternative solution instead.
There is no easy answer to that question, and every company deals with unique circumstances that affect the outcome of the decision. But it is undeniable that most companies are wrestling with this issue and that selecting a course of action sooner rather than later is preferable. Ask yourself these questions:
What is Your IT Budget?
If you have relied on the same technologies for years now, you are probably no longer paying for them, at least not in a significant way. That means that switching to the next version will put a stress on your IT budget, and the cost could be long-term. New technologies can also save money in other places, but it’s important to know exactly how much you will spend and how much you will save before you decide to jump ship.
What Technical Expertise do You Have?
Do you have an in-house IT staff? Do they have the skills and experience to effectively implement a new technology and manage the challenges of the transition? If not, you might have to turn to help elsewhere, rely on the maker of the new technology for help, or even increase your staff. Be sure that you don’t make a huge investment in a next version only to find out you don’t have the technical expertise to use it to the fullest.
How Will Your Staff React?
Technical change can be jarring, and the benefits are sometimes offset by a nostalgia for the technology that has been replaced. If your staff is comfortable with the technologies that you have in place, and they are still able to meet the demands of your business, it might not be worth it to rock the boat just for the sake of change. As you are evaluating your options, keep the challenges of training your staff on a new technology in mind, and don’t forget that productivity could be affected while employees adapt to a new way of doing things.
The final thing to keep in consider is that today’s next version might not be tomorrows. In some cases, these new technologies appear to be here to stay, but in others they could be just a stop gap between what we use now and what we will use in the future. Committing your company to a fad technology is the worst possible option, so be sure to vet your options carefully and seek out objective opinions. Work with the experts at The Squires Group to find more information about thriving in the business world of the 21st century.