How to choose the right technology for your business
In 2021, Edelman’s Trust Barometer found that customers trust the technology sector more than any other, and they build that trust remarkably quickly.
Is it any wonder when our relationship with technology, and the sector that creates it, is so personal? We rely on our devices for communication, business, banking, navigation, occasionally even sustenance. And the relationship between technology and society is also reciprocal, in that society drives technological change, while changing technologies shape society.
It is this relationship that has left businesses and governments clamouring for tech solutions that will help them save time and resources, extend their reach, improve information flow and set them apart from their competitors.
With thousands of technology solutions available, how do you choose the right fit for your business?
Analyse your technology needs
Create an inventory of the different technologies currently available in your organisation.
- Understand who uses the technology, when, why and where that data is stored.
- Understand the costs, licensing, support, usability and accessibility of the technology.
- Assess whether the technology will efficiently support the business to deliver on its objectives now and in the future.
Once you have a clear understanding of your technology landscape, it will become simpler to identify the gaps and weaknesses that need to be addressed.
Choose technology that grows with your business
With a global pool of tech offerings to choose from, Denis Bensch, CIO of FlowCentric Technologies, urges leaders and general users to exercise a healthy balance between trust and scepticism when it comes to choosing solutions.
Not all technology is created equal, it can experience compatibility problems, performance issues and become outdated faster than you may anticipate.
Before investing in any technology, you should consider whether it:
- Will have a clear and positive influence on business outcomes;
- Can support existing and future business processes;
- Is maintained, well supported and has an established track-record of success;
- Maintains specific standards even when employees change; and
- Can reduce errors through automation and/or data integration.
Don’t force a fit
He further cautions against trusting digital systems beyond their capacity or functionality. Bensch explains that technology is generally created to meet specific requirements, so when organisations try to use their systems to achieve more than the technology is capable of, they can inadvertently expose themselves to risks and incur high costs.
Alternatively, companies may attempt to customise their existing systems to make them work the way the company does. A survey by Panorama found approximately 88% of companies will end up customising their ERP. Not only does this require additional time and financing to implement and test, but the company may need to hire additional resources to deploy upgrades and ensure continued compliance with industry best practices.
Countless organisations are still saddled with legacy tools that solve point problems, and many of these tools greatly limit the organisation’s ability to scale geographically, or to support new users such as partners, customers or distributors. It's not to say these organisations don’t want to make the change; often, they are simply not sure where to start.
Make technology a long-term investment
Despite many companies suffering from declining revenue as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic, IT spend continues to accelerate ahead of revenue expectations. This is according to John-David Lovelock, research vice-president at Gartner. He goes on to state that boards and CEOs are much more willing to invest in technology that has a clear tie to business outcomes.
“We have seen a surge of interest in our business process management (BPM) platform over the last year-and-a-half,” says Bensch, attributing much of the attention to the accelerated pace of digitalisation brought on by the pandemic.
Companies considering investing in technology solutions pre-pandemic were forced to accelerate their plans, turning to companies like FlowCentric Technologies for assistance.
“FlowCentric Processware ticks many of the boxes for companies that want to invest in technology that's capable of affecting real and positive change. And it does so in a relatively short time, compared to other systems,” says Bensch.
The company’s BPM platform, FlowCentric Processware, is widely used by enterprises across Africa and Australia, with a growing interest in Europe and the Americas. The platform allows businesses to develop numerous process-driven applications that are designed to work the way the business does.
The platform gives organisations the freedom to digitalise and automate all of the processes the business needs to optimally deliver on its objectives. Once successfully implemented, the platform rapidly yields results, including increased efficiencies and tight control over the execution of each process.
It is because of this flexibility that FlowCentric Processware is often used to extend the life and reach of existing ERP implementations. The flexibility that the product offers allows organisations to maintain the unique processes that have made them so successful, while ensuring the data held in the system of record (ERP) is accurate.
To find out more about the FlowCentric Processware or the FlowCentric Technologies services, please visit flowcentric.com or contact our sales team on (+27) 010 020 4488.