This week, enjoy evergreen principles for conducting a year-end technology review. Technology changes quickly and it can be hard to keep up. You don’t have to be “trendy” to keep up if you conduct a systematic review of technology at your business.
Let’s face it, some of your technology is aging out soon, while new technologies you haven’t utilized have moved from “early adoption” to standard use.
Also, if you’re looking to use budgeted funds quickly or discover ways to curb spending next year, a technology review can yield answers.
More importantly, a technology review can help you align old and new technologies with your business goals, and here’s how to do it.
Assess Your Current Technology
First, assess your current technology. If this sounds like a daunting task, then perhaps it’s time to consolidate into fewer vendors and platforms. Look at your major business processes and list the software involved. Then look at other tools that you use less often.
Next, ask yourself these questions:
- Does this serve a critical business process?
- Do I need this regularly or only once in a while?
- Is it serving its original purpose?
- Does the developer or manufacturer still support this?
- Am I still licensed to use this?
Evaluate or Establish Your Technology Goals
Know what you want to achieve and align your technology with business objectives. With so many technology tools available, it’s easy to unintentionally reach technology bloat. Its also easy to miss out on wonderful new solutions for getting things done. Don’t assume that you know of a specific technology to solve a problem or reach an objective. Leave that for the research step below.
- What are my priorities and goals next year?
- What are my pain points?
- What are some areas where the business needs improvement?
- Are there any areas where technology clearly failed you this year?
- Is my technology hardware up-to-date and tidy?
- Is my software well-supported?
- Do you recall any technologies that you meant to investigate this year and didn’t?
If you’ve looked at your business challenges and goals first, you’ll be primed to notice great technologies when you discover them. Now it’s time to do your research. In our experience, if you just use google for this, you’ll have to wrangle with advertisers and salespeople who might not tell you everything you really need to know about a solution upfront.
Diversify your information sources:
- Use Internet search engines to prime the pump.
- Check trade magazines and industry publications.
- Use Reddit or other online discussion forums.
- Ask other businesses aligned with your industry.
- Ask an IT consultant.
Phasing out or Implementing New Technology
Once you’ve found some new technology solutions, you may need to phase out older tools as you implement new ones. Don’t do this without a plan for everyone in your organization who will be impacted by the changes.
- Who will be affected?
- What training will they need?
- What new processes need to be documented?
- How will you and your people get support for using it correctly?
- When will the new technology be operational?
- Do you need any additional hardware?
DatCom offers several levels of technology review from free consultations to complete network scans. We’ll be happy to coach you through your technology review. All you need to do is ask!