Technology’s power to disrupt is undeniable. One of the clearest examples rests in our pockets and purses. Decades ago, one would need a camcorder, gaming system, computer, stereo and encyclopedia – as well as a telephone – to replace just one of our mobile devices.
But it’s not just technology that fuels growth but its strategic application to business problems. HORNE Accelerate Partner Bruce Walt sums up the opportunity as: “It’s how people use technology that allows them to do things like disrupt industries or create new markets or take market share from competitors.”
What to consider when investing in technology
Technology has the power to deliver immediate and significant business value. But it needs to be implemented carefully. To successfully find and leverage the right solution for your business problem, you need to:
Understand the Problem. First, companies must fully engage in the problem they are trying to solve. If you don’t understand your challenges, you will lack crucial knowledge about productivity and performance and how that compares to your peers. It leaves you aiming at a target you can’t see.
Align with the problem. Any strategic technology investment must align with the problem at hand. Leaders sometimes hesitate to invest in technology because past implementations were never fully used. As a result, their investments didn’t connect with team members using the technology to achieve objectives.
Manage the change. The last crucial component is change management. No matter how innovative, technological change may be viewed as a distraction if it’s not used correctly. The technology must be easy to adopt, and leaders must provide the right user training and support.
Making the right technology choice
While the impact of poor technology decisions may be a constant concern for company leaders, the upside to making good choices are equally hard to ignore. Some of these include:
Competitive Excellence. Unlike 15, 10 or even five years ago, smaller companies now have access to technology that can help them better compete with their peers. No longer must they throw people at problems that technology can more deftly handle. As a result, companies can improve how they operate and do business to the point where they eliminate the at-scale advantages of larger firms.
Process Automation. Whether to fuel a competitive advantage or drive down internal costs, or both, small- to medium-sized companies often use employees for processes that can be automated. Often these are manual and or repetitive tasks that employees must perform. In a sense, to complete these menial jobs, humans were already asked to perform like machines. Automation frees their minds to focus on the more impactful and gratifying work of solving business problems.
Work from home. In the past, employees benefited from working in teams. However, the combination of the pandemic and the drive for better work-life balance has created an undeniable demand for mobile work. Thanks to remote technology, workers can connect with the systems and work teams integral to their jobs. In addition, from a leader’s perspective, having a remote or hybrid work option allows them to better attract and retain much-needed talent in today’s tight labor market.
Keeping technology on the company agenda
Many organizations have made mistakes with technology in the past. Nonetheless, if leaders want to match the accelerating pace of competition, they need to remain open to innovation. That’s because, when managed correctly, their technology investments stand to improve productivity, lower costs and elevate the quality of life for all.
Technology needn’t replace human workers but instead refocus them on more significant business problems. In the end, for companies that use it wisely, technology can serve as a builder of both profits and people.
HORNE Accelerate leverages technology, people, processes and experiences to power your company to grow. They’ll help you assess current practices and lead you to automation solutions that allow you to best leverage your most valuable asset: people. Talk to a HORNE expert today to learn more about how to begin your company’s acceleration to growth.