Small businesses can easily get stuck in a rut, relying on technology that is dated and often slower. And when it comes to integrating new technology into a business, it takes a lot of preparation, finances and managerial discussions.
This is why a recent study found that 63% of managers believe that new technology makes it into the workplace too slowly.
When it comes to integrating new technology, it’s important to follow precise steps to ensure a smooth transition.
1. Start with the Basics
A major hurdle when implementing new technology into a business is management having a difficult time expressing a lack of urgency to business owners. The lack of urgency is often derived by the business still being “profitable.”
It’s important to be able to:
- Determine what’s not working
- Express what the new technology will offer the business
- Present how success will be measured
Evaluating a new technology is key to implementation. Function and costs must be aligned with the benefits of the new technology to ensure it’s a good fit for the business.
2. Implement with a Support Team or System in Place
Implementation of the new technology is key to success. A major issue that a lot of small business have is that they just “wing it” when introducing a new technology. It’s important to offer internal support for the new technology.
Let’s assume the company has introduced bitcoin mining into their operations, but no one in the workforce knows how to leverage the blockchain technology properly.
This may lead to:
- Lost revenue
- Technical issues
- Slower implementation
- Failed implementation
Instead, if a support team is in place, the issues that come up will be able to handled swiftly. Employees can be trained beforehand to ensure that when the new technology is launched, everyone is comfortable with using the new technology.
Training may even be offered by the technology’s vendor, and this will allow businesses to leverage new technology and systems without issues.
3. Avoid the Rush and Be Transparent
It may be important to implement the new technology, but this doesn’t mean that the process should be rushed. When a new tech is rushed, this leads to errors and mishaps. There’s always an impulse to accelerate the process and get the implementation done as quickly as possible.
Businesses may also try the “wait and see” what happens approach.
Don’t do this.
It’s better to have a plan in place for everything, from support to implementation and analyzing issues. If a business isn’t prepared to handle the implementation process, wait until everything is in place.
Introducing multiple pilot programs is not a good choice.
Pilot programs should be implemented when an entire system is planned so that staff can be as committed as possible to the implementation of the new technology. Otherwise, piloting several different technologies will waste valuable resources when a stringent plan isn’t in place for the implementation process.
Test out technology, but also be transparent with vendors and employees.
Employees will spend a lot of time learning this new tech, and if the staff needs to learn ten different solutions before one is chosen, it’s best to be transparent about the process. Employees need to be kept updated and informed on the entire implementation process.
Transparency will build trust among the workforce, and it will allow for a better transition.
If you avoid rushing and bring employees onboard to provide their input on the tech and implementation, the entire process will run a lot smoother as a result.
4. Analyze Initial Results and Issues
The initial results and issues that come up with the technology must be logged and analyzed. For the benefit of the company, it’s important to analyze all of the data available and make continual changes to the way the technology has been implemented.
If common issues occur or productivity is not on par with others, it’s important to have data to pinpoint where the issues are occurring. This can be something as simple as employees needing further training to be able to leverage the key benefits of the technology.
There’s often a learning period when new tech is introduced, so these hiccups may resolve themselves organically.
But when the same issues keep arising, it’s important to look at them and determine what can be done to correct them. If the business cannot realize the benefits of the new technology, or the new technology is not producing higher profits or better customer experience, it may be dropped.
It’s important for all team members and managers to be on the same page with new tech, learning to build value, correct issues and monitor ongoing usage issues.