Any business uses a variety of systems to fulfil needs across communication, marketing, organisation, logistics, and other core business tasks. We’re living in an age of evolution – every time you look, there’s a new way to do something. As a result, business owners are constantly being confronted by confounding decisions and possibilities. How is it possible to know the best way to do anything anymore?
Rather than speculate about the future, what we can do is evaluate solutions based on known truths. The following is a list of considerations that should be taken into account when evaluating any new technological inclusion into your business.
Setup Time & Management Time
Time considerations are imperative and regardless of your objective, it needs to be clearly determined that the result of the initiative will outweigh the time it takes to set up and manage the initiative.
Setup Costs and Ongoing Costs
By the same token, the cost of setting up and running a new inclusion needs to be justified by the advantages that it brings.
If specific skills are involved, training may be another time-related consideration to take into account, in the event you have staff managing a system. If one person is responsible and they leave the organisation, you will need to replace them and their specific skills as well.
Known ICT Relationships
It’s useful to proactively keep an eye on the relationships that exist between your existing ICT (Information Communication Technology). Many products are designed to integrate with other, related products and this knowledge can be helpful in making decisions going forwards.
Ability To Migrate
The ease with which information can be migrated is always worth bearing in mind. If you need to switch to a new method, the process may be formidable if you’re dealing with large volumes of records. Check to see if prospective methods enable the export of your information.
If you’re communicating with people, especially in marketing, the medium used by the audience is the best medium to use, regardless of your personal preference. This principle can be applied to different types of audiences too. Even when the old way was ‘better’, its not valid if nobody will receive the communication!
Strength of Support
How’s the support setup for your prospective integration? While it is cost-effective to push support into FAQ and automatic responses, it’s not genuinely helpful, especially in the middle of a crisis (you can bet that it will be in the middle of a crisis). Check it out before coming onboard. It may be the best investigation you do.
It’s always worth checking reviews and feedback. Bear in mind that feedback mechanisms are often manipulated in different ways, but if you aggregate feedback from a variety of sources it may help you to develop an understanding of how solid the solution you’re looking at is.
Dependancy & The Bleeding Edge
If you’re really interested in something on the bleeding edge of technology, just because it’s not proven or its long-term prospects can’t be clarified doesn’t necessarily mean its not an option. It may just come down to the dependancy you place on it. The more your business depends on a system, the more thoroughly you need to be able to trust the solution.
Bleeding edge options shouldn’t be discarded – after all, some of them are the future, and it will be good to be aware of them if they relate to your industry – but their implementation should be paced to your dependancy on them.
The End of Evolution
For any business, it’s imperative to be forward-thinking. How things are done now (2019) will not be comparable to how they’re done in 2029. 2029 may look a little mysterious at the moment – everything is going to be different, but how?
Before you get lost in the endless emerging possibilities, don’t forget that there is an end-point to every innovation – that is, a point at which the need for innovation escapes the relevance of the solution to the problem.