Valuable technology tips for your business

Technology can be a competitive differentiator, but the constantly evolving world of technology is challenging to navigate for businesses.   Growing businesses evaluating technological support want to ensure they get appropriate value, maintain efficiencies, and stay ahead of the curve. Finding the right software and systems to best suit these rapidly changing demands, is often the key to success.

David Nelms, Warren Whitney’s Director of Technology and Operations, explains that outgrowing technology is one of the most common problems expanding companies face. “The biggest challenge when evaluating a business’s systems is knowing the path to take and making sure that the technology is keeping pace with needs. Adding to the complexity is that upgrading systems can often be very expensive; there is a lot more involved than just the base cost. “

Tip #1: Evaluate your needs. Do not dive straight into looking at new software or systems before you understand your current and future needs. When David works with his clients, he stresses the critical nature of knowing the problem they are trying to solve.  He says, “an objective, in-depth survey is essential to define the foundation for support.”

Tip #2: Analyze your software options. After defining the foundation for support, a thorough analysis of your top software options will help cut through the clutter so you can make the most cost-effective investment.  David cautions, “the most expensive, shiny new system with lots of bells and whistles may not be the answer. For some, the most basic, cost effective solution may solve most, if not all, technological problems. “

Tip #3: Embrace your new technology. After purchasing a new system, the commitment to being educated on how everything should work, configuring the systems to achieve results, and providing employee training are keys to success. “This total commitment will determine the system’s success.”

To give an example why all three of these tips are equally important, David recently worked with a firm that was frustrated with its newly acquired ERP and Human Resources systems. During the discovery process, he learned this company had purchased the most highly regarded and functional systems in the industry.  These systems were an excellent fit; not overly complicated or expensive.  The company had done a good job of understanding their capabilities before the purchase but it had not been effectively implemented. As a result, the systems were configured to duplicate the client’s old systems. Also, there had been no employee training. Understandably, the firm did not gain anything from the investment and their frustration was with good reason. Fortunately, David was able to identify and address the client’s issues, allowing the team to benefit from the investment and achieve what they originally set out to accomplish.

Commitment and knowing your business’s current and future needs are two of many necessary detailed steps to ensure a smooth and successful integration of new technology. Integrating new technology is a major investment and big expenditure, it can be risky especially if it supports core business processes. Having someone with experience to guide you through this complex world is essential. Unbiased and objective conversations are critical to the selection and implementation process.

If you are looking to update your infrastructure or core business systems and would like to speak with a professional, contact David Nelms at dnelms@warrenwhitney.com or 804.282.9566.