Andrew Martin March 28, 2024

How to Choose the Right Tech Solutions for Your Business

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how to choose the right tech solutions for your business

Running a successful business has become more complicated and challenging than ever before. There are countless tasks and processes associated with your daily operations, and the more efficiently you can perform them, the more productive your business will be.

Fortunately, there are more technology tools available than ever before that can help you automate low level tasks and streamline your operations to set your team up for success. But determining which technology tools to leverage with your business can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve become paralyzed by the virtually limitless options available or are struggling to identify tools that are ideally suited for your specific needs, your ability to navigate the tech solutions at your disposal will play a critical role in positioning your company for long-term growth and success.

The following tips will help you develop a sound process for evaluating the right tech solutions for your business.

Assess Your Business Needs

The right technology solutions for your business will depend on your specific needs and goals. Before you can begin looking into options, you must first identify the challenges and pain points you’re facing, as well as the goals you’re looking to achieve through the use of technology. What tasks do you need these technology tools to complete? How can you leverage technology to simplify your employees’ processes or improve the quality of your product/service offerings?

Research the Best Solutions Available for Your Specific Needs

research tech solution options Once you understand what you’re trying to achieve, you can begin researching your options. It’s important to become as familiar with the different technology solutions as possible in order to make an informed decision. You should take the time to learn the basics of what each tool can do and how it works.

While conducting a Google search is a great starting point, your research should dig much deeper than the basic articles you find online. We recommend the following tips to supplement this initial research:

  • Consult Your Professional Network – Talk to colleagues and peers in your professional network to get their insights on technology tools they’ve used. While every business has different needs, they may be able to provide valuable information on what has and hasn’t worked with their company. It’s possible that some of the solutions they’ve used will align with the goals you’re trying to achieve.
  • Review White Papers – Most technology companies produce detailed white papers to educate potential customers about the ways their product will help achieve your goals. These documents can provide valuable information that can help you evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the options you’re considering.
  • Seek Other Professional Recommendations – Trade associations, online forums and other professional networks can be a great source of recommendations when evaluating technology solutions.

Assemble a Decision-Making Team

Evaluating technology solutions isn’t a decision you should make alone. If large portions of your team are going to be using these tools, it’s important to get as much input as possible from the primary users of these solutions. By involving the right stakeholders on your team in this decision, you can gain a more diverse set of insights to aid in this important decision.

Make sure your decision-making team has the necessary expertise and authority to provide the insights you need. Ideally, this team should include both management level team members, employees who will be using the tool on a regular basis, and individuals on your staff who are extremely tech savvy and have the background necessary to evaluate the pros and cons of each option you’re considering.

Evaluate Specific Technology Tools

evaluate tech solutions Once your team has done the research necessary to identify a few top options, it’s time to start evaluating each solution in detail. Reach out to each tech provider to schedule a demo. Most technology companies will start by having a brief “discovery meeting” with your team to understand your specific needs and goals so that they can tailor their demo in a way that highlights the capabilities that are most relevant to your business.

Your team should spend time developing a rubric for evaluating each demo. Create a spreadsheet to rate each criterion on your rubric for each solution you evaluate, and give each criterion a weighted ranking based on its importance to your needs. This will make it easy to compare each solution once you’ve viewed every demo.

In addition, create a list of questions to ask each tech vendor during the demo. Some important questions to ask include:

  • What kind of training do you provide to help us learn how to use the tool?
  • Will we have access to an account manager or customer support team member who can help us get the most out of your solution and maximize our ROI?
  • What strategies do you use to ensure your solution can adapt as the needs of our business and our industry evolve?
  • Does your solution integrate with other technology tools we currently use?
  • What customizations are available to address the specific needs of our business?
  • Do you provide analytics data to help us measure the effectiveness of our results?
  • Can you provide us with the contact information of previous clients who can serve as a reference?

Finally, make sure to schedule all demos at a time when everyone on your decision-making team can be present. If you encounter scheduling challenges, prioritize employees who will be using the technology on a regular basis being part of the meeting.

Once you decide on a top choice, ask the provider if they offer a free trial. Many technology tools will offer a free trial where you can start working with the tool for a few weeks before committing long term. This will give your team an opportunity to evaluate how well the technology solution addresses your specific needs, both now and as you grow in the future.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating Technology Solutions for Your Business

Your decision-making team should consider the following factors when you’re viewing demos and working through free trials:

  • evaluate tech solution user experience Rich User Experience – Make sure you choose a tool that offers an intuitive user interface that works well on any device.
  • Accessibility – Can the tool be accessed from anywhere at any time on any device? Can it grant secure access to employees and partners on their own devices?
  • Evolving Capabilities – Will the technology be able to evolve with the changing needs of your business? Is it designed for scalability to meet growing customer demands and the increased customer volume you experience as your business grows? Can new features and functionality be seamlessly integrated at a later date with minimal disruption to your operations?
  • Customer Service – Choosing a technology provider that offers robust and reliable customer service is critical. Your team will most likely have questions and need assistance as they start using the tool, and they may have additional questions or changing needs over time. A provider that offers the customer service necessary to set you up for success will significantly impact your ROI on the technology solution.
  • Security – If you’re implementing technology solutions that will store your company’s financial data, proprietary information, client data or employee information, security will be an important consideration. Always ask about the steps a provider takes to ensure your data is protected.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Tech Solutions

While the tips discussed above will help guide your search process to the right solution, there are also some common pitfalls many companies make during this process. Make sure to avoid the following mistakes to ensure you get this important decision right:

  • Not clearly defining your business needs and goals
  • Basing decisions solely on price
  • Overlooking vendor expertise and reputation
  • Failing to involve end users
  • Taking a piecemeal approach
  • Neglecting future scalability and adaptability

Not Clearly Defining Your Business Needs and Goals

You’d be surprised at how often businesses fail to do complete this initial – and extremely important – step in the decision-making process. When you don’t take the time to thoroughly assess your goals and challenges, you’re more likely to choose a technology solution that doesn’t align with your needs.

Basing Decisions Solely on Price

choose value over price when considering tech solutions Cost is certainly a factor in choosing technology solutions, but it shouldn’t be the primary factor. While it’s important to adhere to your budget, choosing the cheapest solution will often cost you more in the long run. These options are more likely to be lower quality and come with limited resources that make it harder to achieve your goals.

Instead, prioritize the five factors discussed above, and focus more on value than price. Instead, use price as a tiebreaker when all other factors stack up similarly between two different solutions and both options appear to offer comparable value.

Overlooking Vendor Expertise and Reputation

Choosing a tech provider that lacks experience and a strong track record of success in your industry can be risky. It increases the chances that you’ll receive subpar service or solutions that aren’t ideally suited to your needs.

Instead, make sure you choose a tech vendor that has developed a strong reputation among others in your industry. You can determine this by researching their expertise, reading customer reviews and evaluating the way are regarded among other industry professionals.

Failing to Involve End Users

It’s critical that your decision-making team includes individuals who will be using the technology on a regular basis. These people have a more nuanced understanding of the specific needs and pain points you’re trying to address with this technology, and they will be able to think of specific use cases that others in your company may not have on their radar. Failing to get input from these individuals increases the chances that you’ll choose a tech solution that may frustrate your team and disrupt their workflow.

Taking a Piecemeal Approach

It’s always important to consider how your new technology will integrate with the other tech solutions you currently use. Take a holistic view and look for solutions that will enhance your technology infrastructure rather than create compatibility issues or inefficiencies.

Neglecting Future Scalability and Adaptability

Your business will grow and evolve over time, so it’s important to choose tech solutions that provide the capability to meet the changing needs of your business. Prioritize solutions that allow you to scale, integrate new capabilities and adapt to changing requirements over time. If your solutions aren’t able to achieve this scalability, they can potentially limit your long-term flexibility and innovation.

Make the Best Decision

After you’ve completed this thorough evaluation process, it’s time to make a decision. Keep in mind that you’re unlikely to find the perfect solution. Looking for “perfect” will usually result in paralysis and waste all the time you invested evaluating different tech solutions. Instead, focus on choosing the one that most closely aligns with your needs and provides you with the best value for your investment.

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace, especially as AI tools are playing a more prominent role in business operations. There will most likely be a new tool released down the road with more comprehensive capabilities than the one you choose. That’s fine. You can always pivot to a new solution down the road if you feel it will address your needs more effectively. But if you select a tool that can achieve your goals and offers the customization necessary to adapt as you grow, you’re likely to find that you end up with an option that will deliver your desired results.

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