How to gain maximum value from technology investments for your business?
The slow economy stemmed from the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing organizations to identify and cut all unnecessary costs. Unfortunately, technology investments also fall prey to these budget cuts. It happens when businesses invest in technology without adequate planning.
According to a survey, 29.2% of respondents holistically examine their technology usage while searching for efficiencies. It may mean canceling or delaying new projects and purchases or reducing or canceling maintenance and support contracts for existing investments.
Research by Accenture reveals that while 47% of the companies are building their future growth strategies on mobility and technology, considering inefficient technology as one of the top hindrances to their growth. It is clear that IT-led innovation is the need of the hour, and 82% of companies are investing specifically in technology for improved growth.
Simply put, now, it is crucial to improve the return on investment of resources, optimize costs, and select the right solution when making sourcing decisions.
Here, we share a few tips to help you gain full value from your technology investments.
Ways to optimize costs
Gartner reveals that optimizing costs is essential for businesses and is one of the best ways to control spending and attain cost reduction while maximizing business value.
Optimizing costs should take into account:
- Automating and digitizing business operations
- Simplifying and standardizing applications, platforms, processes, and services
- Obtaining the best terms and pricing for business purchases
While this means ensuring that technology investments generate the maximum possible value, it also means cutting costs and considering how each technology investment drives business value.
Some technology may be expensive, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t providing value to the organization. Expensive technology may already be optimized because of the value it generates, while inexpensive technology may be unused and wasted. Therefore, it is important to make the right decisions regarding purchasing hardware, software licenses, or cloud services contracts.
Once you have identified and mitigated what you do not need and what you need, there are no more costs to reduce. It is time to look at how to optimize technology assets.
Ways to get the most out of your tech investments
Despite the cutbacks and search for savings, many organizations continue to invest in technology projects and accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. However, even with the economic slowdown coupled with pandemic-related uncertainties, organizations that have performed well during 2020 are looking to increase resilience by reducing risks and demanding shorter ROI periods on investments.
That said, the key to maximize ROI is preparation. It is essential to know that you’ve selected the right solution and are ready for implementation. Several surveys done in the past suggest that the software chosen is rarely the reason for any IT project’s failure. And a few leaders even agree with this, revealing a lack of investment in preparation, project management, and implementation. Even the simplest of IT systems require some amount of work to install and configure. So, the more complex your environment is, the more careful you will have to be.
Key factors to consider while developing a technology strategy to improve corporate performance are:
Investment profile: Your management team must identify your IT investment percentage (allocated to build significant capabilities) versus the foundational investment. Ideally, foundational investments should not be more than 40% of the total annual investments.
Organization focus: You must identify whether a significant portion of your internal resources aims to drive innovation or growth. Also, find out if you have the proper operating processes in place to drive these investments.
Tenure: You will have to figure out if your workforce has the right experience and skills to achieve the target.
Investment economics: Move over traditional measures and instead identify newer ways to evaluate your projects and investments.
A few technologies worth investing
Following are some of the technologies worth investing in the present business scenario:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Internet-of-Things (IoT)
- Self-driving technology
- Streaming media
Tips for getting maximum value from technology investments
To get maximum value from your technology investments, you should:
- Be prepared with clear objectives and outcomes. You must ensure that your vision aligns with that of the new technology vendor.
- Ensure that you have people, processes, and governance for leveraging the technology when deployed, reducing the time to both value and ROI.
- Identify and assess your data sources’ quality to develop appropriate metrics for accuracy and completeness of data and check for any improvements.
- Invest in the implementation and system or process integrations to make sure they are carried out successfully. If you are using any third-party service provider for the implementation, ensure that you hire a reliable and trained team like Fingent.
- Identify users and key stakeholders and invest in their time to maintain the system.
- To reap benefits early in the project and demonstrate the value of initial investments, take a phased approach. Phasing could be by business unit, geography, or environment depending on the organizational structure and business goals. This will ensure that the project is manageable.
- Provide both initial and ongoing training in phases to allow end-users to familiarize themselves with the features and functionalities they have learned about before undergoing further training. That said, make sure the new users are also appropriately trained.
- Ensure that third-party consultants have completed their vendor training or certification programs before allowing them to use your tools. Also, check if you are using the latest version of the tool. If needed, arrange for additional training.
Be smart with your tech investments
With technology and digital transformation becoming more pervasive across all industries, technology investment can make a huge difference in winning or losing a business. By focusing on the tips discussed in this article, companies can maximize value from their technology investments.
Technology wins only if it can appease users. A bad customer experience forces the customer to switch from vendor A to vendor B. Not only should you identify and invest in the right technology, but make an emotional connection to craft human experiences that drive customer satisfaction and differentiate you from your rivals.
Fingent helps you make a fortune out of tech investments by helping you leverage the latest technology trends. Our business technology consulting services focus on helping businesses tackle technology problems, attain business objectives, and derive value from tech and IT investments. Chat with an expert to learn more.
How CEOs can prepare their business for 2021?
The unexpected entry of COVID-19 and its consequences blew away the year 2020. Technology rose to the occasion and helped businesses cope with these changes to a certain degree. However, the “new normal” has proven that we can adapt and come through any mishap. A fresh surge in innovation and new technologies promise to help us deal with the new normal of 2021 and beyond. However, with future business technology trends shifting in real-time by consumer behavior, volatile markets have become a daily reality. As businesses emerge from a chaotic year, CEOs need to begin a rebuilding phase in 2021. It is not just a restoration because the rebuilding must form the foundation of a new era. Are you prepared for it?
Fingent supports customers to ensure business continuity during COVID and enables employees to engage effectively during the current pandemic. Our business technology consulting solutions are tailored to address the unique requirements of various industries.
This blog explores five such business technology trends CEOs need to follow in the coming year.
1. Transformation of workplace and work culture
Work from home (WFH) has become a growing trend in today’s work environment. While some businesses already practice a regular remote working option, COVID-19 has made WFH mandatory.
As coronavirus’s terror continues, most businesses have already considered the work from home set up as a permanent feature. Some companies have announced work from home for their employees till the middle of 2021. Few others went a step ahead and allowed their employees to work from home forever! According to an estimate by Global Workplace Analytics, 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.
This trend may worry CEOs as it involves a massive element of trust. Laying down work-from-home policies and metrics to ensure productivity will help.
2. Bridge gaps and renew relationships
“That unplanned kind of interaction that contributes so much to how we build relationships with people and how we build culture, those things are what are missing,” says Andi Owen, CEO of Herman Miller Inc.
Both CEOs and employees can empathize with Andi Owen’s sentiments. Perhaps one day in the future, face-to-face meetings will return to normal. However, right now is the time to shift strategies toward the digital realm to improve relationships.
Whatever the circumstances may be, businesses must ensure they have a defined work from home policy. For this concept to be practical, CEOs must ensure that the need for inspiration, connection, and a sense of purpose are met in the workspace. Though remote working makes it practically impossible to have in-person meetings, CEOs must ensure that their employees have newer ways to work – where they feel connected and enjoy a sense of purpose, though isolated.
Additionally, businesses will need to adjust their marketing plans. This could include strengthening their online presence to gain and retain customers while keeping their employees engaged and happy. The most successful CEOs will find ways to improve their network even in the most challenging times.
3. Embrace innovation and a creative approach
In the past, a CEO could be successful by specializing in certain areas while delegating other responsibilities. Some CEOs may shy away from embracing new ideas and technologies because they do not have the resources to commit to significant innovations. However, the pandemic has completely changed the business landscape. If a CEO is not prepared to accept new ideas and practices, it may turn into a business disaster.
A successful business will always have data and technology at its core, but a successful CEO will encourage creativity in his employees and welcome new ideas and practices. He must have a hands-on approach to every sector of the business and communicate with employees, partners, and customers.
4. Better online presence
All the trends mentioned before this – accommodating a work from home culture, strengthening the network, and embracing innovation – require businesses to improve their online presence and digital profile. It means that CEOs should revamp their online presence by following these tips:
- Business websites must become more interactive yet easy to use.
- Improved customer service should be a top priority on your radar.
- In addition to product launches, continue to update your social content on social media.
- To build your audience, look at the suggestions in their feed.
- Include images and short video clips.
- Look for tools to increase time and bandwidth.
5. Flexibility is the key
As the new year approaches, every business makes some long-term and short-term plans. However, 2020 taught us that the world could change suddenly and dramatically. Upheaval will continue as the pandemic persists, and we must contend with social and economic collateral damage. Businesses thus need to assess their ability to be flexible.
“The supply and demand for office space may change significantly. Many people have learned that they can work at home or that there are other methods of conducting their business than they might have thought from what they were doing a couple of years ago. When change happens in the world, you adjust to it.” – Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. The best thing a business can opt for during these historically tumultuous times is to remain flexible.
Retooling for tomorrow
The coronavirus brought in an unprecedented whirlwind of changes. Technology has been so helpful to businesses in coping with a global economic crisis. The pandemic has been the catalyst for new tech trends, and it will continue to drive innovation to the new normal.
CEOs who leverage these technologies born out of today’s crises to their advantage have an opportunity to elevate their business. Though no CEO can predict what will transpire in 2021, you can get ready for the new year by focusing on these business technology trends. Talk to us and let us make your business equipped for a better tomorrow.