Over the past year, we have seen one of the largest booms to technology integration than during any similar timeframe in history. Technology as a necessity of operations has never been clearer. Still, companies find themselves overspending, underutilizing, and wasting money on unnecessary tech.
The way a business typically spends money on technology is by coming to a place in its operations where the tech being used is either obsolete, or the business’ infrastructure is so weak that there is no option but to invest heavily and without planning. The problem with this approach is that business managers tend to lose money on tools they presume to be necessary. There are typically two categories of wasted spending in technology integration: tech of efficiency and tech of competition.
Companies of all sizes spend countless dollars on technology with one common flaw: underutilization. Many businesses don’t fully appreciate the technology they already have access to and what it can do. We consume technology much as we consume products. We isolate one area of need or desire and then seek to overcome that need with a singular solution. But most tech platforms are designed to solve a multitude of problems for any number of scenarios. The best solution here would be to audit the existing tech infrastructure to minimize any oversight.
The converse of the underutilization flaw is the over-assumption of available resources. Any new technology, from a simple application to a complex computer program, takes time to learn. Because of the time commitment involved, many people don’t accept a regular challenge to learn new resources. Because of that, businesses are notorious for holding on to outdated technology based on the complacency of new integration. The good news here is that with cloud computing and software outpacing hardware, new resources can be applied, and tech can be advanced more naturally and with minimal, though still some, learning.
Many managers look at competition with direct avoidance of competitive crossover. But with a market very closely connected, direct avoidance is not a strategic option nor is it effective. The alternative is direct alignment. This is looking at a competitor and replicating their market approach. Many tech tools allow a company to not only see what competitors are doing, but also allow for insight into specific customer analytics. These tools, while typically automated, are very costly. They also create natural assumptions about the customer. But customers are, economically speaking, irrational buyers, meaning they cannot be predicted.
Companies need to align themselves carefully to accept the challenges of a chaotic market and to ensure stability for the future. Technology integration, when applied correctly, can create untethered opportunities. But it can very easily turn into wasted spending and unwanted interference. A regular audit of all tech integration will allow for necessary updates for operational progression with minimal overhead costs.
We encourage you to connect with an ACS Affiliate Services team member to learn how our industry tech resources can help you become more efficient.