When it comes to investing in new technology, business owners in San Jose, California and the San Francisco Bay area must ask themselves a few key questions before making the jump. With so many options on the market and new products being released all the time, it can be hard to know which ones are worth the investment and which ones will end up being a waste of money.
So before you adopt new technology, ask yourself these questions:
Does this technology solve a specific problem?
Whether it's streamlining your workflow, improving communication within your team, or increasing your customer base, there should be a clear reason for why you're investing in a particular piece of technology. If you can't identify a specific problem that the new technology will help you solve, then it's probably not worth your money.
How much will it cost?
Cost is undoubtedly one of the major considerations in buying new tech. You need to take into account not only the initial purchase price but also any ongoing costs such as subscription fees or maintenance costs. You should also consider the costs associated with installing the new equipment and/or software and training the people who will use them. It's important to have a clear idea of how much this technology is going to cost you in the long run before making any decisions.
Is there a cheaper or free solution?
It's also worth doing research to see if there is a cheaper or free solution that could offer the same functions of the new machine or software you’re eyeing. With so many options on the market, it's important to compare them before making any decisions.
Before you spend any amount of money on new equipment, take the time to check out price comparison sites. These sites will allow you to see the prices of IT products you're thinking of purchasing and compare them with cheaper alternatives.
Is it easy to use?
Investing in new technology is pointless if your employees can't figure out how to use it. Make sure that you test out the technology yourself and see how easy it is to use. If it's too complicated or time-consuming to learn, then it's probably not worth purchasing.
Is it compatible with the current systems?
You definitely shouldn’t invest in technology that's going to cause more issues, specifically in terms of its compatibility with your current systems. So do your research and find out if the new technology will be compatible with the systems you already have in place.
Unless you have a team of full-time IT professionals who can thoroughly analyze your needs, you might have difficulty determining whether a new technology is going to be compatible with your current systems. You’ll likely have to seek the help of a local IT consultant that can offer sound advice on what technology is best for your type of business. Moreover, an IT consultant can help in all stages of planning, procurement, and implementation of your new technology.
Is it scalable?
Can you increase or decrease your use of the technology with ease as your business grows? If the answer is no, then it might not be worth investing in since you'll likely need to replace it eventually.
Are there risks in acquiring this technology?
Any new technology comes with its own set of risks. These risks include unexpected costs on user training, unscheduled disruptions, a potential increase in downtime events, and customer dissatisfaction. One or all of these could happen during that difficult period when your team transitions to the new technology.
In addition, there's always the possibility that the technology might not work as advertised or that you might not be able to get the full value out of it. Identify all potential risks before making any decision.
Can you upgrade your current technology instead of investing in new tech?
Lastly, before investing in any new technology, think about whether or not your current tech can be improved or upgraded instead. There might be some easy tweaks that you can make that will solve your problem that will eliminate the need to buy a new computer, hardware, or software.
Investing in new technology is a major decision, and it should only be made after careful thought. By asking yourself these questions, you can be sure you're making the right choice for your business.
To learn about other cost reduction strategies for your business, download our FREE eBook, 5 Ways Businesses Can Reduce Cost Effectively.