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How to Decide when to Invest in New Technology

I have a client, whom I love dearly, that is an app collector. What I mean by that is, if someone mentions any sort of bottleneck in business functions, her first instinct is to ask "is there an app for that?". Now I know that she truly is trying to make her team's work easier, but ultimately too much technology can lead to confusion, actually kill productivity, and worst of all, eat away at your business's profits. Especially if you are just starting out or a small business still growing, making smart and informed decisions on when to invest in new technology is critical to the bottom line. So here are a few things I think you should consider before investing in one more app for your business.



What's the ACTUAL problem?

As a business and operations strategist, it's important for me to understand not only the goals of the organization but also what obstacles may currently exist that will hinder goal attainment. Many times these obstacles may not need a technical solution. For instance, I worked with a company that was experiencing a high volume of customer complaints about their turn around time for document requests. They were an older company using even older technology, so of course one solution presented was to invest in a ticketing system and document management service. But when reviewing their current procedural manuals, it was discovered their method for organizing requests was not prioritized by date, but by name. Ms. Zanzibar would never get her documents!!


Making a update to their document organization system cost nothing and dropped the number of customer complaints immediately. So before deciding to invest in new technology, be sure that you and your organization understand what the actual problem is that needs to be solved. Do a deep dive into your processes and be open to having outside eyes review the problem with you for a fresh perspective.


What technology do you have on hand?

Just like the human brain, we use only a fraction of the technology we already have in our business. I myself recently started capitalizing on the capabilities of my email account, such as scheduled messages, folder organization and even contact organization. So even if technology is necessary, take some time to explore the capabilities of the technology you already have. Are there also integrations available that could help with connecting one service to another, so my may not need something totally new, just a bridge between available technology. Ask yourself, are you paying for upgrades in your website hosting service that you aren't using? Are there free services that can supplement the current technology? Can you better maximize what you have?


Process mapping is alos a great way to understand how your business currently functions and can help you pinpoint the gaps that current technology can fill. For instance, a client was struggling to keep invoices from her contractors organized. We explored a bunch of options, but decided to utilize a project management tool she was already using and set up a process to collect invoices using the forms feature and develop a workflow for processing and archiving. So, learn more about the technology you have and review your processes for opportunities to further utilize what is currently available to you.


What is your organization's capacity for learning something new?


If you have identified a problem and realized that new technology is necessary, then by all means do your research and find what will work for you and your organization. However, also remember you- AND YOUR TEAM- will need to learn how to use this new tool. It is true that in today's age most apps and software are built to be user friendly. But, not everyone learns new technology at the same pace and people by nature will revert back to old habits if they can't embrace the new. So, when implementing a new app or software:

  • Schedule a demo by the company. These are usually free and can show how the service works. Afterwards, meet with your team to thoroughly discuss how this fits into your current operations or what adjustments will need to be made to implement it.

  • Make time for training days and learning sessions. If you can't hire someone from the company to do the trainings, invest in learning strategists, who are familiar with the technology and who can work with your team through the transition. Utilize a variety of learning methods such as hands on work, videos, working sessions, etc. And keep a log of challenges, questions, and observations to follow up on and continue to support your team through the learning process.

  • Update your internal documentation! Any process manuals, onboarding documents, or training materials should be updated ASAP to stay accurate and to reinforce the changes.

  • Schedule evaluation dates to see how things are going. You should be looking to see how the new app is resolving the problem, how the team is adapting, and if there were any unseen issues that are arising with the new change.

Also, be adaptable during this time as you, your team, and possibly your clients get used to the new app.


Apps and technology overall can be great for your business as long as you remain smart and diligent in how you approach integrating it into your business. If you need to do a business analysis to decide if new technology is the right move for you, schedule a call today.



Thanks for stopping by!


Kijaffa Hall, CEO

K.Z. Hall Virtual Services










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