The top 7 things to look for when choosing the right tech solutions for your business

In a world where technology is evolving faster than ever and there have never been more solutions at our fingertips, one could be forgiven for thinking there has never been a better time to be a business owner or manager. From CRM systems that improve business relationships to SaaS subscriptions that include automatic software updates, there are thousands of business analysis tools designed to make life as simple as possible for the busy entrepreneur and their employees.

The top 7 things to look for when choosing the right tech solutions for your business

If only it were that simple.

The reality is endless options mean endless decisions and in an environment where the pressure to keep pace with technological change is immense, navigating your way through the software solution minefield can bring pressure of a different kind. It’s all well and good to think technology will improve business process efficiency, but, that will only be the case if it is the right technology for your needs. Far too often business owners dive far too quickly into purchasing a tool that promises to revolutionize their processes or systems, only for it to end up gathering dust on their employees’ desktops because it was not the best option for their specific needs.

So how do you ensure that you make the right decisions when there are so many decisions to be made? Well, we’re glad you asked … here are our top seven things to look for when searching for the right tech solution for your business.

  1. Profitability
    Our first tech solution tip is the ultimate rule – if a product doesn’t stack up financially, it’s not for you. Business is hard enough without making dud financial decisions and that goes for investing in software. It’s not just about the cost of the product either. Extensive time training staff on new technology – and ongoing training - can be a hidden cost that comes back to haunt unsuspecting managers. You should also factor in an initial loss of productivity when implementing the software and getting staff trained up. Doing the maths before making a purchase is just as important as doing the research.
  2. User experience
    It seems obvious but a new business tool should help you do what you do better, faster or more efficiently. Unfortunately, many decision-makers often forget that when dazzled by the latest trends or sales gimmicks. It’s all about knowing the pain points your staff are experiencing and the best way to determine that is by talking with them. Ask how much time they spend on specific activities in a bid to identify company-wide trends. Spending a crazy amount of time wading through emails? Slow internet speeds not only causing frustrations but creating unnecessary bottlenecks? The communication tool or technology to address such concerns may be within reach. Nailing this will ensure new product adoption in your organization.
  3. Future capability
    There is no point going to the effort of adopting a technology only to discover it is obsolete within a matter of months. You want solutions that can evolve with your business and that’s where cloud-based platforms shine. Designed for scalability to meet growing customer demands, new features and functionality that can be integrated with ease and minimal disruption to an organization is key. As a business leader, you want your team’s focus to remain on corporate goals as opposed to the likes of system updates. Cloud-based platforms allow you to do just that as it is the vendor’s role to ensure they are running smoothly. Businesses grow and change and you need to ensure you have the right tools to go on the journey with you.
  4. Value for money
    One of the main drivers for adopting tech solutions for business is the cost savings they can offer. According to industry experts, the price tag on SaaS products is significantly less than traditional systems but it’s important to remember that value for money should be the overriding motivation. When choosing a platform, many companies fail to establish appropriate cost-control measures from the get-go and soon find themselves swimming in a sea of regret as hidden costs result in them having paid over for the odds. The ability to accurately predict the business value you will realize from your investment is crucial when adopting new technology, be it faster-than-anticipated adoption or a product that delivers a positive experience for staff and/or customers.
  5. Security
    Finding the cheapest technological solution will quickly come back to haunt you if that solution compromises your company’s security. From exposing financial data, personal staff details or other proprietary information, the devastating impact of security breaches will far outweigh any savings made in the sourcing process and that’s why every effort must be made to identify SaaS companies that are committed to the highest levels of data privacy and safety of user data. As a vital partner, SaaS companies access, manipulate and analyze customer data every day and you want to ensure your provider is doing everything it can to not only keep your information secure but also that they are communicating its safety measures to you in a way that you can easily understand.
  6. Assistance and support
    Make no mistake – the relationship between a vendor and the client can determine the success or failure of a SaaS platform. It is imperative that you have the vendor’s support both during the transition to a new technology and after its implementation. From installation, adoption and upgrades to troubleshooting and training, it is inevitable questions will arise and that’s why it’s a good idea to research various service models to ensure help will be there when you need it. Do your due diligence. Are other credible companies using similar solutions? Do they have positive things to say about the provider? Committing to a new platform is not only about ensuring it meets the technical and practical needs of your business but that the company providing it is committed to supporting you 24/7.
  7. Customization
    If there is one certainty in modern business life it is that one size does not fit all. The ability to customize technology to suit your specific needs is essential for any company, with agile innovation also necessary in these ever-evolving days of doing business. Before signing up to introduce new business systems, ask the provider about their commitment to releasing regular updates and whether they will adapt their technology to suit your changing needs. Mobile solutions also enable business owners to manage their operations on the go, while configurable desktops can help create customized workflows that help improve productivity

Take your time, do your research

As you can see, there is much to consider when purchasing business technology tools and each of the above topics has an underlying premise – do your research. Whether weighing up the cost benefits, exploring data security or deep-diving into a vendor’s background, it is essential you take your time to ensure the call you ultimately make is the right one for you and your staff. It is almost a given employees will show some resistance when change is introduced but you can reduce that if you show that you are willing to seek their opinions, listen to their advice and ultimately highlight that your goal is to implement change that is for the best to help drive efficiencies for both them and the organization. Looking for other ways to drive efficiencies in your business? Download this free eBook today to get started.