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Technology can help businesses grow, but technology can only be successful when businesses make good technology investments and the business supports the technology program.
Here are five steps towards improving the odds that your technology investments will pay off:
Solve a Business Problem – Identify pain points in the business. These can include processes that currently have long workflows, are expensive, or are a source of customer complaints.
Set up Metrics – Be able to measure and evaluate the quality of the identified process or problem. Without a metric, you won’t be able to monitor changes to the problem. Before implementing a solution, the metric should be able to give you an idea of the potential value or gain that might be achieved if the problem can be improved.
Evaluate solutions – Brainstorm and research what tools, technologies, or process changes could improve the business problem. Be thorough in your evaluation and don’t hesitate to reach out to others that you may come across in your research that have confronted similar problems. Technology vendors are usually happy to offer references from companies that use their product in a way similar to how your business would.
Staff the Project – A project of any significant scope should have the backing from at least one C-level executive. A project manager should be designated to plan, oversee, and execute a plan of implementation. The company should be staffed with the appropriate resources to be able to attempt the implementation.
Involve and Educate Users – Make sure that users understand the goals of your project. Bring them into the discussion, tap their ideas, and make them feel partial ownership in the project. Once the technology is available, make sure that end users are aware of it, know that it is the preferred approach, and are trained in how to use it. Without acceptance and adoption by users, the project can’t be called successful.