7 Questions Every Business Should Ask Before Investing in Technology

In today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape, where global IT spending is projected to surge by 2.4% in 2023, reaching a staggering $4.5 trillion, investing in technology is undeniably crucial for establishing digital resilience and achieving business growth, forecasted by Gartner. However, in the pursuit of technological advancement, it is equally critical for businesses to maintain clarity in their investment rationale and avoid succumbing to the allure of new technology trends.

The fear of missing out on the latest tech innovations, commonly referred to as “Tech FOMO,” can lead to hasty and ill-informed decisions. Just because competitors are adopting a particular new system doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit for your business. To help you navigate the complex world of tech investments, Propel Tech, a leading UK software developer, has compiled a list of seven essential questions that every business should contemplate before committing a single penny to technology:

  1. Has the Wider Business Been Consulted? Not everyone in your organisation may possess technical expertise, but most employees are expected to interact with technology in their daily tasks. Before diving into an expensive and intricate tech project, assemble a steering group representing various teams and units within your company. Encourage them to voice their challenges, capabilities, and needs to inform the decision-making process. While this may slow things down initially and present challenges, it can prevent wasted time and money down the road.
  2. Is a Complete Overhaul Necessary? Tech investments should enhance the user experience for both customers and employees. While a complete overhaul is sometimes warranted, it’s essential to consider the bigger picture. Many existing systems can be improved without starting from scratch, reducing initial costs and the time and resources required for staff retraining and troubleshooting. Collaborate closely with your software developers to evaluate legacy systems, and don’t dismiss the potential of upgrades and technology consolidation.
  3. Are “Buy” or “Build” the Only Options? Your company’s legacy systems may excel in some areas while causing frustrations in others. A hybrid approach to software development and maintenance can leverage new innovations where needed while preserving the strengths of existing systems. Engage with a trusted partner who can offer a flexible and unbiased approach to problem-solving.
  4. Are We Stuck in a Technology Comfort Zone? Many companies fall into a “comfort zone” when it comes to vendors, technologies, and partners, which can be risky when making informed decisions. IT and business leaders must actively explore uncharted territory and broaden their horizons to ensure they are leveraging the most suitable platforms for their specific needs. Invest time in connecting with third-party experts to gain insight into the breadth of tech opportunities before allocating budgets.
  5. How Can Data Benefit My Business? The collection and effective use of data from various sources can inform strategic business decisions and boost performance. Insights into market trends, customer behavior, competitor activities, and internal operations can be gained through data analytics. Software developers with data analytics capabilities can harness unique data to enhance user experiences, increase efficiency, and tailor products to meet specific business needs.
  6. Do I Need a Proof of Concept? Absolutely. Consider this as due diligence for any tech investment, no matter how promising it may seem. A proof of concept rigorously tests an idea, determining its feasibility in the real world, the appropriate technologies to use, its potential adoption by the target audience, and its long-term viability. If the proof of concept raises doubts about any of these aspects, it’s back to the drawing board.
  7. When Should the Testing Process Commence? Testing should begin right from the start. Whether it’s new hardware or software, a tester’s perspective often reveals potential issues before they become critical. Early testing can save time and resources by addressing problems in their infancy.

Propel Tech, a specialist IT firm, collaborates with some of the UK’s leading retail, manufacturing, real estate, and automotive companies to provide tailored software solutions. In a tech-driven world, these seven questions can serve as a compass to steer your business towards sound and strategic technology investments, ensuring that every penny spent brings genuine value and growth.

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