Advances in technology drive a great amount of the change that occurs in business organizations. The competitive advantage in today’s business environment includes, in great part, staying on top of technological advancements that impact your industry. Business strategies that include acquiring new technologies should be guided by best practices that consider the impact on the firm, customers, employees, vendors and other stakeholders.
A new technology project should derive its goals and objectives from the company’s strategic goals and business objectives. For example, a business objective might be to increase market share by 5 percent for a product within a particular market. This objective can find support from an upgrade in technology that might increase the efficiency of associated business processes and decrease production costs and times.
The time-frame necessary for implementing new technology will be shaped by factors such as the complexity of the new technology, the requirement to replace old technology and the level of importance technology plays in a company’s business processes. Phased in implementation process allows for testing the technology’s capabilities when developing the the roll-out. This ensures that the integration of the new technology is delivered within budget and on time.
Unless tech support personnel already exists, developing in-house support systems is not generally the most cost-effective approach to supporting new technology. A 24/7 support service might be provided through the developer or supplier of the technology product. Alternatively, monitoring and other support services for the new technology can be outsourced to a tech center that services the system. This might include support for technology infrastructure, hardware, software applications and communications.
Employees generally have to be briefed or trained to properly adapt to the changes and differences created by new technology. The training of key employees who will be responsible for the technology system is generally provided by the vendor or supplier. End users or customers impacted by the technology changes — even in the case of automated systems — might also require notice of the changes to the business processes or procedures created by the new technology.
Expectations should be realistic about the impact of new technology and the ability of individuals to adapt to changes. There is always the chance that new technology will fail or increase costs. As a result, risk management assessments should be performed and contingency plans developed to respond to worst case scenarios.