When it comes to picking up the latest technology for our homes, most people don’t need much convincing to get on board. From smart home systems like Google Home and Amazon Alexa to the latest in wearable technology, people jump at the opportunity to enhance their lives with technology. Unfortunately, businesses face much greater challenges when it comes to adopting innovation.
Technology in business has the ability to create new and improved products, increase efficiency, improve production processes, manage data more intuitively… the list of possibilities is nearly endless. Still, the obstacles remain large enough to prevent the timely integration of new technology in many businesses.
The main issue is that an organization’s digital processes are deeply integrated into other systems. Introducing new technology can impact the people who use these systems, the nature of the data they contain or manage, the programs they support or integrate with, the financial outcomes of the business, and even the structure of the business. The question is, how can these challenges be overcome?
Here are a few of the top reasons why companies choose not to adopt new technology, even when it’s likely to benefit them in the long term.
Obstacles to the Adoption of New Technologies in Canadian Businesses
According to Statistics Canada, one of the main challenges to adopting new technology in a business is (should be singular as the subject of the sentence is “one challenge”) its staff. This is a three-sided problem that can be due to:
- Lack of employee training
- Staff resistance to change
- Difficulty in obtaining qualified employees
Although the issue is divided into three concerns, they’re all related, and they can all be resolved fairly easily. In essence, nearly anyone can be trained to use new technology given the correct instructions or program from a managed IT service provider. Once they’re trained, the staff’s resistance to change will typically drop off as they begin to see the benefits of the new systems and learn how to work through issues.
Cost & Return on Investment
For companies investing thousands of dollars on new technology integrations, obtaining funding and ensuring there will be returns on those major investments is always a priority. Luckily, funding programs exist in many industries, and cost planning is always an option for those larger rollouts. As for returns, a company can easily sit down with an IT consultant to determine where costs will be incurred throughout the integration process and where they’ll come back to the company in the long term.
Existing Culture and Practices
Any new technology that fits into a business has to integrate with existing systems, whether that’s other technology and programs, or even just the processes and staff culture. For example, if a new CRM (customer relationship management system) requires employees to do more upfront work, but saves time in later days, this can interrupt the usual staff workflows.
If possible, create a full plan for integrating the new technology smoothly with the current systems. Bring your staff in to hear their concerns; they may even be able to see overlaps or gaps that hadn’t been considered.
For businesses without a managed IT service provider, the obstacles to technology integrations are far more intimidating. “How do we get everything moved over?” and “what happens if something breaks?” are typically the questions at the top of an owner’s mind. If you don’t have someone who understands what’s been done and how the new technology works, fixing issues can easily turn into a costly and time-consuming nightmare with potential downtime for the business.
Working with a qualified IT professional upfront curbs the potential costs of new technology in your business, while also helping you plan for future adoptions. Be sure to work with an IT service provider interested in helping you create a full system infrastructure in your business.