We’re living in strange, challenging times indeed. Events far beyond the control of most people are forcing us to change our thought processes, strategies and goals. Maybe even our technology as well. Sometimes, it’s daily, across every facet of our lives. In the business world, every enterprise is trying to keep their employees — many of whom are still remote — healthy, safe and productive. Moreover, they also have to keep the organization running.
This environment has naturally led to an increased dependency on technology. Even enterprises that previously didn’t have remote-work policies have been forced to shore up things quickly. Remote work may have also necessitated an infrastructure move to the cloud. Businesses must ensure their individualized ecosystem is robust enough to service their employees and support their vendors. That’s moved some organizations to reconsider their priorities. This includes the technologies they use to drive growth, support customers and expand their business. Some may be wondering if now is a good time to get experimental. After all, why not use this time as a proving ground or test lab for new technologies?
There’s a big difference between ensuring you have the functionalities you need to keep things up and running, and diving into totally untested waters.
In times of unbridled expansion, it’s easy to be drawn toward projects and technologies that promise massive (albeit unproven) benefits of an emerging capability. But, when the business environment raises the stakes and every penny counts, it’s wise to be cautious. Being able to build on the technology foundation that you have in place may be a better way to provide real value to customers, employees and vendors.
The Technology Big Five
Here are five tips to ensure technology can continue adding value to your business — even now.
While we’re living in atypical times right now, that doesn’t mean doing something atypical is the right move. Don’t go looking for the hot new thing or start implementing technologies just for the sake of doing so. The time will come to be experimental and bold. But, right now, it’s more important to be pragmatic and work with trusted partners.
Remember your technology core.
With so much riding on every business decision right now, focus on your core business objectives and ensure you have what you need to support them technologically. Double down on the existing systems and vendors that are providing value; take the time to hone core business differentiators; and support employees and customers with what you have.
Get extra support.
If you need more than the infrastructure you have in place to function in a remote or hybrid work environment, find ways to integrate extra support services that can seamlessly bolt onto and live within the technologies and processes you already have, versus implementing sweeping changes.
Recognize everyone’s challenges.
Big changes challenge not only your employees, but also your customers and prospects. Recognize they, too, have limitations to their capacity for major change. Work with them to understand their current situation. Ensure whatever it is you’re looking to sell to them or give them is making their lives easier (not harder) and fits into their current environment.
Now is the time for technology expense management.
Technology expense management is especially critical right now. No one should be allocating budget to technology they don’t really need or paying for add-ons that might be costing more than they should. Look for ways to rein in unnecessary spending, reduce costs, optimize IT budgets and save money.
Let’s think positively: The events we’re living through have the potential to change us for the better. Use this time to improve your organization in meaningful ways without completely reinventing who you are and how you operate, and you’ll come out on the other side of this with a new perspective on what it takes to survive and thrive.