Einstein once said that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. This goes for business conduct as well as science: if a current technology, system, or approach is not working nor generating an income, maintaining this without a change could result in a halt or delay in operations. In this case, investment into new ideas, new approaches, and new technologies may be needed to reinvigorate the process.
A recent study found that 70% of businesses have invested in over 5 new technologies within the last year alone. With such a large drive towards new technology in our digital landscape, is this level of investment and change always a positive move for business?
An investment into anything is always a big decision that comes with certain risks, so investing in new technologies should be a carefully considered and weighed-up decision – the fate of your business may depend on it.
If you’re at the point where you’re ready to invest in some new technology, that’s a positive step. It means you’ve identified a problem, and hopefully discovered something that will resolve this problem.
Time is money
In this resource-rich, but time-poor culture in which we operate, time is one of the commodities in short supply. This is often one of the main selling points that comes with any new technology – ‘this specific piece of software will save you time with this specific problem’. One of the key things to weigh up here is the resource that is currently being spent on such a task and the cost of the new technology. If your employees could be spending their time doing other tasks which could benefit your business, and investing in this new technology will free up their time to do so, then provided the cost of the new technology is lower than the cost associated with that person’s time, then the investment sounds like a good option.
It is worth considering though, that with the implementation of any new system or process, there is time associated with training and upskilling of existing employees, or even the recruitment of new, specialised employees which can carry additional time and cost implications. The benefits are often not realised immediately, and businesses need to account for this in their planning.
New technology carries healthy price tag
An obvious drawback of new technology is the significantly higher cost it incurs when compared to old or refurbished technology. Having to shell out high costs upfront can be problematic for many businesses. For any business, projections of investments and potential returns must be accurate, statistical, and refined – there is little margin for error. If these projections and predictions cannot be made accurately to determine a likely outcome that has a high chance of success, businesses may decide that the investment is not worth the associated risk.
Although you may have done the research, speaking to experts from the industry is still worth the time. Experts may be aware of new trends that are not yet widely available, they can also use the benefit of their experience to help shape a tailored solution that may be more suited to your specific business, a solution that can often take advantage of cost savings you may not have considered.
Proceed with caution
It is of the utmost importance, then, to truly understand exactly how a new technology will benefit your business. New technologies often will allow ease of operations, increased profit margins, and cutting of manual labour (amongst other benefits); the technology is obviously desirable. How we expect a business strategy to pan out versus how it really does, however, are two different stories. It’s easy to judge the effectiveness of an investment after the fruits of the labour come to actuality – hindsight is a wonderful thing – it is much harder to see this when investing, before the outcome is produced. Hence, investment into new technology poses dangerous risks if they are not evaluated and accounted for.
Proceed carefully, considering these pros and these cons, and come to an informed decision for your investment based upon these factors; success will follow. And remember, our experts are on hand to help at whichever stage of your investment journey you are at.
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