How to Catch-Up With & Get Ahead of the Curve
Many companies may find themselves behind the eight ball in the world of technology, and catching up can be a daunting task. Across industries, there is a tendency to fall behind once a strategic direction is established. But with technology consistently expanding its capabilities, it’s important to keep your own technology systems continuously monitored, so you know when the time comes to upgrade.
It’s easy to fall into the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, but in the case of technology, what’s currently working for you may not always work. That’s why we’ve created this step-by-step guide on how to start checking items off the list in order to create a modern technology infrastructure – and beyond.
Ways to Catch Up
Audit Your Existing Technology
Technology systems have such a wide range of capabilities; that said, over time it’s very likely that you upgraded your current systems for different duties, so it might be wise to do a complete audit of each system to make sure each is efficiently functional for your business. To perform an entire audit we recommend compiling information based on the following:
- Conduct security sweeps of all networks, drives, and devices in use
- Monitor and analyze the effectiveness of each current system – are your systems meeting your goals and needs? If there are functions or results that are lacking and not fulfilling their duties – such as not supporting necessary data, network, devices, or backups – it might be time to research new technology to implement.
- Be sure to ensure that your current technology is adaptable when implementing new systems. Do they allow room for expansion due to different trends in the market?
- Establish the true value of each current system – Are they bringing value for what they’re costing you, or are they falling short, causing you to use more money with less advantages? In other words, do your current technology systems and processes help or hurt your overall productivity?
Prioritizing Key Needs
Whether you’re auditing or in the market for new technology, it’s important to segment your projects by prioritizing the key needs for your processes and workflow moving forward. Start by determining the value of each need in comparison to costs – labor, capital, expenses – while keeping in mind both your overall company goals for your technology and the overall impact of this on your business. Estimate how long it will take to implement or upgrade and think about how those new technology implementations will play a continued role in the success of your business.
Ways to Stay Ahead of the Curve
If the technology industry isn’t one you’re well-versed in, then it can be a bit overwhelming to stay ahead of the curve or get a jump on the latest news. We know this is an inevitable hurdle, especially for businesses who don’t have the resources – especially money, time, or people – to delegate the task of keeping their technology knowledge fresh. Here are a few ways we recommend to help you stay ahead.
- Diversify the content you engage with – whether that be on various platforms, or mixing in where you get news and in which industry you hear most about, it’s important to shake it up a bit and venture into news within industries that play a heavy hand in the technology world. There are endless publications available in the world – different media outlets like podcasts for audio, or online publications and articles, even print books, publications, or audiobooks on certain subjects can help you dive into more technology-central information.
- Try self-educational tools – one of the greatest things about the internet is the universal access to self-educational tools. With companies putting on virtual conferences and webinars, and other sites hosting everyday professional training videos, it makes learning virtually comprehensive for anyone with internet access. They also are great networking opportunities. You can gain new perspectives – learning from others on how they work with new technology and how that can be beneficial for you, and may give you insight into a new product, service, or business. Then you can take what you’ve learned and implement it into your own business.
- Partner with a consultant or advisor – there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to people who can help you – especially if taking the time and making the effort are too much for your company right now. Collaborating with a partner who’s knowledgeable on the subject and cares to learn your company through and through is a proven way to help your business thrive.
Rather than sitting back and watching the technology industry develop, take a proactive approach. Avoid falling behind your competitors by taking initiative and putting the success of your company in your own hands. What you decide for the implementation of technology from this point on will greatly affect the life of your company.
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