With the myriad options available, choosing office technology can seem like a daunting task. You can narrow your search by focusing on the technology that best supports your business strategy. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Create a technology plan
If you haven’t already, start by developing a strategic technology plan. This plan should be closely linked to your overall business plan and answer the following questions:
- What major goals have you set for your business in general?
- How can technology help you reach those goals?
Here is some more detailed information about how to create a successful tech strategy.
Invite (ongoing) input
When you’re considering new technology, you’ll work with IT staff and perhaps with outside experts as well. IT specialists can help you determine the best tools for the job and keep you abreast of tech developments. It’s also valuable to get input from your customers and your non-IT employees. These people use your technology every day. They can help you identify needs and opportunities that you might otherwise miss.
Consider your customer experience
In addition to inviting customer input, think about your customer base more generally: How can technology help you better serve your clients? The answer will of course depend on the nature of your business. For your digital presence, it might include things like CRM software or social media automation. In your physical office space, the answer may be automated reception or making technology available for visitors in your welcome area. The important thing is to customize the technology for your needs.
Think about your staff structure
How do your employees work? If many of them work off-site, for instance, mobile and cross-device technology will be important. On the other hand, such technology may not be as imperative if your staff is more centrally located. In any case, consider how technology can help your employees improve their collaboration and efficiency.
Look at your competitors
Allbusiness.com suggests that, when deciding what technology is best for you, “you can gain ideas by looking at what other players in your industry are doing.” Look at how your competitors are using technology, and how well different strategies are working for them. While you may not choose to use the same technology, seeing what else is out there can only be helpful.
Don’t forget about ROI
Allbusiness.com also notes that it’s always important to keep your ROI in mind. This is especially crucial when considering large-scale or long-term investments.
Monitor your progress and success
So, now you’ve chosen technology that fits your business strategy. But you’re not done yet! As you implement the technology, continue getting input from all relevant sources about how it’s working. And make sure that someone is keeping track of costs and benefits—both financial and non-financial. Monitoring the success of your choice will help you make necessary adjustments and plan more effectively for the future. For more on today’s office technology, read 5 Ways Technology is Transforming the Workplace. Is your office ready for a technology transformation? Learn how The iPad Receptionist can help.