Whether we are talking about you, a home office, or a major corporation, a constant question is how far do you go to keep up with technology? Given the speed of technological change, the pressure to be on the cutting edge, and the need for return on investment, this is an increasingly critical and complex challenge. What company (or individual) wants to be branded as a dinosaur? And these days you earn no medals for being one!
When considering a technology upgrade, finding the perfect timing is the difficult part. Upgrade or adopt too soon, and you run the risk of unintended consequences and exorbitant costs. Upgrade or adopt too late, and you run the risk of decreasing profits and unexpected breakdowns and inefficiencies.
Of course budget and planning cycles must be considered too. Whether in the corporate world or in the home office, to everything there is a season. We have to be smart about technological timing in the context of the big-picture.
Do not underestimate the costs of disruption. Too many business owners do. Sometimes it just makes more sense (and cents) to maintain the technology status quo while certain production schedules are met per contract instead of disrupting productivity just for the sake of the technology upgrade. However, at some point, the disruption if carefully planned, will become the answer to move the organization forward by making it leaner and meaner. The point is that the disruption can and should be carefully planned.
A significant source of insight are your frontline employees. They are usually the people facing the good results or the bad results that are directly driven by the technology. It is amazing how often the frontline agents can see the obvious technology-driven chaos while the oblivious company leadership sits silently in its silo.
These and many more factors must be assessed to identify the ideal timing for a technology upgrade or adoption. Even more important than any single technology move is that you are constantly observing the technological landscape. Technology is always changing. As much as we might hope for that day, a “set it and forget it” approach won’t work with technology. If you keep your eye on it, then you’ll know when to take action!