Making Business Technology Personal

Have you ever wondered why it’s so much easier to select, embrace and get value from personal technology than technology for your business?

Most people love the personal technology that helps organize their lives, but rarely speak in such glowing terms about their office technology.

Why is that?

When it comes to technology for your personal use, you (the end user) have a pretty big say in what devices and systems you purchase and use on an everyday basis. Do you prefer iPhone or Android? Do you connect your phone to a FitBit? What tools do you want to use to simplify your life and help you make easier decisions? You alone get to make the decisions about the best apps to manage your schedule and finances. A big part of your selection criteria is how you want to interact with technology. It’s not just about the brand; it’s about how the technology you choose aligns with your lifestyle. And best of all, if you wind up not liking your choices, it’s usually not difficult to make a change. You simply delete the app, trade in the phone (OK, so there’s a fee), or buy a new device that fits the new way you want to live, work or play.

Contrast that with the workplace, where individuals don’t typically get to choose the systems and tools they use all day to do their jobs. There often isn’t much discussion about how the new technology aligns to how employees currently or should do business. And if the technology systems you purchased don’t work as advertised or no longer fit your needs, it’s not so easy to make a change without incurring significant costs.

No wonder business leaders and owners often experience hesitation and resistance when it comes to new business technology.

If only picking business software could be as painless and successful as choosing personal technology.

Of course, there’s no way to exactly replicate the personal experience at the office, but there are steps business leaders can take to close the gap.

1. Involve your employees, end users and even clients, as appropriate, in your major business technology systems. New business software selection isn’t a technology effort, it’s a business initiative.  Engage your employees in discussions about how they currently use technology, don’t use it and could use it more efficiently.

2. Focus on the HOW more than the WHAT. Rather than focusing on a brand name and the bells and whistles of a certain technology, first focus on how your core business processes should integrate with each other and how they should align with core business systems. Too many companies focus exclusively on the features of the technology they are buying, ignoring key business processes until after the purchase. The problem here is that it’s often determined after purchase that the new software doesn’t quite align with how the company functions – leading to expensive customizations, frustrations and work arounds.

3. Build nimbleness into your software technology roadmap. While large enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems may enable companies to integrate everything into one seamless platform, they can also create potential bottlenecks when business needs evolve or change completely. Today’s cloud based or software as a service (SaaS) platforms enable businesses far more flexibility and nimbleness without sacrificing too much capability. Looking beyond the traditional business software brands could provide a solution that saves money, better meets your specific business needs and provides critical flexibility down the road.

At Hartman, we specialize in client-focused, independent software selection. Since we are completely vendor independent, we can make objective recommendations that are always in the best interest of your organization and that we believe will lead to long-term success.

Could you benefit from learning what your team needs to perform their best work? Please reach out to schedule a time to talk.

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