Every good story has common elements. The hero goes on a journey. He or she quickly runs into trouble. And out of that trouble, friends emerge to help. The same is unmistakably true in every business venture. Even older, well-established businesses soon learn that trying new things and testing out new ideas can be both exciting and frightening. It’s hard to predict what can go wrong, and, even worse, it’s sometimes difficult to know where to start.
This is inevitably true for integrating new technology. For many businesses, it’s not just a risky venture, but one fraught with a load of uncertainty. What technology do you need to purchase? How long do you spend in the planning phase? What difficulties can be expected from a new tech rollout? Are there any current employees that specialize in the technology, or will everyone need to be trained? Where do you go to seek help? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new technology projects and rollouts.
The website Business News Daily identifies “moving fast enough” as one of the major concerns for CEOs in 2016. And in quoting business consultant Tobias Wilhelm, they provide a real nugget of truth: speed is everything these days. How fast you can plan, develop, and roll out a new technology initiative can make or break an attempt at a successful year. In highly competitive markets, this can mean the difference between expanding your business and shutting your doors for good. And for new businesses looking to really get off the ground, it can determine whether you make it past the notorious five-year-hump or slink into the annals of failed business history.
With that in mind, here are three of the biggest hurdles most businesses run into when integrating new technology.
Knowing What New Technology Is Needed and How Much It’s Going to Cost
New technology comes and goes, probably faster than we can really account for. But when you’ve studied up and you’re ready to start planning on integrating a new type of technology, the first and sometimes biggest hurdle is knowing exactly what you need to purchase. Will everyone in the organization need to upgrade to new systems? How many pieces of technology will you need to purchase to make the new tech initiative effective? After all, in some cases, it could be either an all or nothing venture. But when it is an “all,” just what is that price tag going to be? And, of course, will there be a considerable return on investment? Simply putting together a spreadsheet of the technology costs can’t always account for the true costs.
Effectively Predicting How Long to Spend Planning
No change manager or IT professional helping with a new tech initiative goes in blind. At least, not if they hope to succeed. Poor IT rollouts can have serious negative consequences. So you plan. And you plan. And you plan a little more. But when the planning phase stretches on for weeks and then months, you can run into any number of problems. The original projected costs can easily have gone up. The very technology you were hoping to integrate could have changed. Even a business partner you planned to partner with on technology rollout could go out of business before the rollout even begins. On the opposite end, moving too fast can easily result in poor technology integration and a waste of both time and money. This is especially true if the primary users of the technology are not properly trained to use it.
Convincing Employees of the Value
Many businesses struggle to convince their employees that a new technology is necessary. Although there are always employees who easily recognize when things aren’t running as efficiently as they could, human nature tends to lead people to stick with what they know. And when employees get comfortable with a certain system, change never comes easy. Sure, you can make that new technology mandatory to use, but employee buy-in is essential to really find that return on investment you’re looking for. When you’re unsure of the value yourself, or not well-versed in what it can do and how it can help, convincing employees to buy into new technology is effectively impossible.
Jump the Hurdles with Fidelus Professional Services
Whether you’re trying to plan out your new IT infrastructure, roll out the plan you’ve been working on, or simply help work on buy-in, Fidelus is there to help. Fidelus offers exceptional professional services that cover everything from project implementation to adoption and evolution. With project managers, Cisco engineers, and a skilled training team on hand, Fidelus can turn even the most daunting project into an easy, educational, and valuable experience.
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