For every business challenge, there seem to be hundreds of possible solutions. It’s important to explore the trade-offs and benefits that a technology solution provides. It’s important to use data-driven decision-making techniques to maximize your investment.
Many businesses already have technology solutions in place and are interesting in looking at alternatives. A thorough review process will align the goals of the business with the capabilities of various platforms. Very few platforms will be a perfect solution so it’s important to understand the pros and cons.
Usability and Features
It seems obvious but you should like the solution you are buying. There are enough options now that if a product is bad, let’s stay away from it. Of course, there are always tradeoffs but the selected solution should actually solve your problem and be easy to use. A solution that is too difficult will not be used.
Most business enablement software needs to be integrated into your website or internal business software. After a solution is selected, the work begins planning out the adoption of the new platform. This includes integrating the software, setting up any necessary data, and training the team to use it.
Cybersecurity is a growing concern as more businesses embark on digital transformation. Consumers are doing more business online than ever before. Storepaperoomates doesn’t want any of their clients caught by surprise by a cyber attack. We want to help keep your website safe, so we evaluate possible security issues.
Cost of Ownership
The total cost of a solution is not always clear. It’s important to review all the potential costs of a solution including setup, integration, licensing, maintenance, and support. Often times the cheapest to license may be the most expensive to own. It’s important to know for sure.
Technology should improve over time, the best solutions should strike a balance between stability, usability, and innovation. If’s great when new features are added periodically that drive value. Alternatively, if a product changes too much too fast, it might be too volatile for your needs.
This phase focuses on information gathering. Data we collect depends on your business and needs. It’s important to collect any and all metrics that can aid our analysis.
After the data is collected, we analyze it and look for the most impactful points. We examine our findings, match it back to your digital strategy, and find insights that can make a difference.
Our team takes great care to package up what we’ve learned, and we prepare a final deliverable that your team can understand and use immediately.
At the end of our hard work, you will receive our full report of findings and recommendations. We present our results, answer questions, and discuss any next steps.
What areas do you focus on when assessing a client’s technology needs?
It’s important to select solutions holistically and scientifically as possible. Some of the key areas to focus on are:
Features: At the end of the day, technology has to solve the problems it was designed to.
Usability: The best solution is worthless if no one wants to use it. The best choices are the ones that solve the problem and are easy to use.
Flexibility: A one-stop-shop solution solving all of your needs is often not possible. Finding the most flexible platform will increase the bang for your buck.
Interoperability: Solutions that allow data to flow in-and-out maximizes the potential for accuracy and value.
Extensibility: If a solution is not perfect for your needs, you might be able to extend it to make it just right.
Security: Ensure the choice is a reputable company with a good reputation for protecting their customer’s data.
Cost of ownership: Costs include licenses, setup, maintenance, integration, and training.
What are some common pitfalls that waste money with technology?
There are a lot of ways to waste money on technology. We’ve implemented hundreds of solutions and have seen how decisions are made. The most common mistakes we’ve seen are:
Timing: In most companies, people are busy, and decisions either take a really long time to make, or they are made hastily. If it’s important, make it a priority.
Lack of stakeholder involvement: Again, we are busy, and a single person making a decision for the group will most likely experience pushback. Get your team aligned.
Picking the latest and “greatest”: The newest doesn’t mean the best. Often time new === unstable. Look for the balance of innovation and stability.
Picking the most established: The biggest doesn’t mean the best. Remember, a solution might be the biggest due to vendor lock. Again, look for innovation and stability.
Ignoring integration: Software integrations can be very time consuming and costly. Pay attention to how easy a solution is integrated into your business and software.
What role should your team play when selecting technology?
With any big decision, your users play a major role. The technology you choose should clearly solve a problem, be easy to use, and ultimately make your team’s lives easier. If it doesn’t, it will be rejected, and a lot of time and money will be wasted.
We recommend having different roles in evaluating possible solutions. In addition to the users of the platform, IT, finance, and developers should also be involved. Have honest conversations about the trade-offs and ensure that all teams go into the decision with their eyes wide open.
What is the difference between technology assessment and technology evaluation?
A technology assessment will create an inventory of the technology used and determine it’s technical performance. The criteria for success are very much determined by its technical ability to solve a problem.
Technology evaluation is more in-depth and will involve more learning and evaluation of HOW the technology selected achieves the goals of the people using it. So not only if the technology will solve the problem, but if it will achieve deeper goals and assesses the potential value delivered to your organization.