“Data shows that while business owners understand the value of new technologies, they struggle with choosing the right products, as well as the right time to adopt them to have the greatest impact on their business.”
The cost of technology can be a significant burden for companies. In data statistics, 44% of business owners listed the cost of technology upgrades as their greatest technology-related challenge. For this reason, owners need to work within a pre-established budget that aligns with their company’s current financial situation and future goals. Working within a budget will help you avoid purchasing additional technological perks and add-ons your company doesn’t need.
Your budget should consider two key things:
- The cost of the technology.
- The cost of implementation.
Research your technology solutions and do your homework thoroughly beforehand to curb unexpected costs. Fixing problems and maintaining technology are two major challenges small business owners face (37% and 36%, respectively), so choosing high-quality technological solutions on the outset will save time and money down the road.
One of the best ways to make the right technology choice and stay on budget is to figure out your company’s specific needs. As a small business owner, you want to adopt technologies that will work within your existing business and yield a concrete return on investment.
You should first identify which business processes you want to change. Do you want to make your data more secure? Or automate certain processes? Whatever your company needs, you should fully understand how a specific technology will meet them before you ever make the purchase. Additionally, there should be analytics in place to measure the technology’s ongoing effect on the company’s bottom line.
It is also important to make sure your new technology can be integrated with your existing systems. The majority of new devices have to be connected wirelessly, so you need to ensure that you have a reliable wireless infrastructure in place. Additionally, some technologies aren’t compatible with each other, so be sure to check your existing systems before making new purchases.
You also need to determine that your new technologies are completely secure. Businesses often have fewer protections in place than larger companies, which makes them more vulnerable to hackers. It is unsurprising that 42% of small business owners cited security issues as their biggest technological problem.
When asked what technologies are necessary for their business, business owners cited the following as most essential:
- Smartphones and tablets (41%)
- Social technologies (21%)
- Cloud services (15%)
All of these technologies, if not secured properly, could absolutely lead to the theft of sensitive information. Make sure your wireless router is encrypted and that any devices on your wireless network are secured with anti-virus software. Educate your employees on which applications are safe to download on work-related devices.
Technology-related investments are the top priority for business owners. By setting a budget, making a plan, and considering integration and security, you can be sure to choose the right technology for your company.