Eight Top Tips to Help Your Business Stay Ahead of The Tech Curve
Technology has always moved rapidly –even more so in today’s cloud-centric world where the next major feature is an automatic update away. Needless to say, the companies that can make the most of the technology available to them are likely to enjoy a competitive advantage over their peers.
How can businesses stay ahead of the technology curve – making maximum use of the technology available to them, while ensuring that competitors never gain a competitive advantage due to their greater ability to harness the latest technology? Let’s take a look.
Pick the right spot on the technology curve
Technology can be adopted very early in its lifecycle – or very late. The technology adoption lifecycle matters because most businesses benefit from being somewhere between the early majority and the late majority of adopters. Early adopters can get a competitive advantage, depending on the industry, but may also find that cutting-edge tech does not meet expectations – and do so only after great expense. On the flipside, adopting technology too late as a laggard means that your competitors stand to gain advantage.
Review your existing systems regularly
With technology it is tempting to leave in place anything that works – in other words, it may feel hard to justify a change in technology solutions just for the sake of it. However, simply leaving technology in place year in year out soon leads to decades-old solutions that will leave you at a competitive disadvantage. It is therefore worthwhile to regularly have a review of the technology you depend on to ensure that it is still within reasonable distance from the cutting edge – and serving your business needs.
Listen to what your junior staff are saying
It is often the younger staff members – even your interns – who have the best knowledge of what the latest technology can do. Younger generations were born into technology and may well point you to some incredible real-world benefits that you may have missed otherwise. You may also find that your younger colleagues are setting the technology trends that may shape your business and the competitive landscape that it lives in.
Focus on training and reach
Rolling out the most cutting-edge technology solutions is of little value if your colleagues are not in a position to make the most of the technology available to them. Training is key here, it is worth ensuring that at least some staff members receive regular training in the latest technology. Providing this input ensures that new technology gets the audience it deserves – with training propagating across your organisation to ensure everyone takes full advantage of the latest that technology has to offer.
Attend webcasts and virtual conferences
Vendors do an excellent job of keeping existing and potential customers up to date with new and improved features. The vendors whose software you use will likely have regular webcasts by product specialists who stand ready to outline why new features may benefit your business. These meetings are usually free to attend and can also provide a good venue to raise any questions you may have. It is also a good opportunity to double-check that you are getting tip-top advice from your business IT support provider.
Read blogs and social media
Sometimes the real-world benefits of software and hardware are not immediately obvious. Blogs written by technology fans and experts – and by vendors – can be a great place to catch up with novel use cases that might well benefit your business. The same goes for social media, including LinkedIn, which can often contain hot tips. YouTube is a great source for explainers and how-to videos.
Take a different view of the cloud
While most businesses have now shifted to a cloud-first technology landscape, many companies are still stuck in an outdated view of the technology world even when relying on the cloud. In other words, some companies expect regular, large-scale updates of software. Instead, today’s cloud-first world is less dependent on major releases – with vendors simply rolling out features on a continuous basis. As a result, businesses need to monitor the release schedule to get an understanding of new features – and features that are set to be deprecated.
Partner with a business IT support provider
Given the fast pace at which technology moves it is arguably very difficult for companies that are not operating in the tech industry to keep ahead of the latest developments. That is why partnering with a capable business IT support provider will help. Your technology partner’s role is to help your business adopt the latest technology in a way that keeps staff and customers happy – while boosting your bottom line at the same time.