Technology is evolving so quickly that many businesses are having a hard time keeping up. Some might deem it as the antidote to all business woes, while others see it as little more than a necessary evil that forces them to modernize just to keep afloat. The problem with technology is that it’s more disruptive than ever, with new and emerging solutions such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) already shaking up the market.
From the full-blown fear of missing out to being apathetic to IT trends, many business leaders struggle to find a happy middle ground. After all, technology investments can easily end up being a huge waste of money if they’re not chosen carefully. On the other hand, lagging behind leaves you unable to keep up with competitors and meet the demands of today’s consumers. That’s why you need to avoid common mistakes like the following:
#1. Not aligning business and IT
While the need to align IT with business goals should be obvious, it’s still something a lot of companies get wrong. Digital transformation depends just as much on strong decision-making as it does on modern technology, which is why you need to think first about what you want to achieve. Otherwise, you risk blindly stepping into the complex world of business IT and choosing solutions just because everyone is using them. Instead of selecting off-the-shelf solutions because they’re popular, think about the needs and preferences of your employees who will be using the software. If it doesn’t make them do their jobs better, then it probably has no value.
#2. Not implementing a unified solution
Business leaders have more choices than ever before when it comes to enterprise technology. That’s a great thing since it allows them to accommodate a wide range of needs and target markets. However, having a disparate computing infrastructure where different systems don’t share information with one another can greatly hinder collaboration and lead to serious organization silos. This is one of the reasons why open-source software and APIs (application programming interfaces) have become so popular — it’s possible to integrate them with different systems. Always choose hardware and software solutions that can blend seamlessly with your existing environment.
#3. Not future-proofing your operations
While many tech experts are excited about the rise of things like VR and AI, there’s really no telling what the market will look like a few years from now. To prepare for the increasingly unpredictable future, it’s time to reduce the reliance on your in-house resources and migrate to the cloud so that you can have access to computing hardware and software on demand. That way, you can also scale back and forth as your current situation demands and make your business more agile when facing an uncertain future. With companies like Google and Microsoft at the forefront of technological change, using their resources is a great way to future-proof your operations.
#4. Not choosing the right vendors
The average business has more than 100 vendors ranging from outsourced technical partners to suppliers and more. Chances are, many, or even all, of these vendors, will have access to sensitive information belonging to you. Because of this, it’s important to remember that adding more vendors may increase the likelihood of security risks.
For example, the enormous Target data breach started with the company’s HVAC vendor. To choose the right technology is one thing, but choosing the vendors who provide it is another matter that demands your full attention. Always vet your vendors carefully, incorporate them into your business continuity plan, and address them in your regular risk assessments.
#5. Not stepping outside your comfort zone
Some of us will do anything for a peaceful life, but there’s no progress without risk. The right approach is to balance the two so that you can innovate without jeopardizing the stability of your organization. Both processes go hand in hand to increase your business’s resiliency along with its adaptability to change.
But stepping outside your comfort zone often isn’t easy given the complexities of modern technology. It’s usually necessary to get some expert guidance on your side from someone who truly understands your industry and the challenges it faces.
Xact IT Solutions provides technology that drives profitability, reduces risks, and increases employee productivity. Get a free IT consultation today to learn how you can set your business up for success.