How to protect your tech investment
By Sumit Kumar Sharma
Technology has the ability to improve efficiency and differentiate businesses, providing an important competitive edge. However, like a new coat of paint, if the surface is not well prepared, the paint will start chipping in no time. It is imperative that organisations understand technology is not the panacea; one cannot simply ignore the underlying issues and hope a new solution will solve it in one fell swoop.
Taking one step back and conducting a root cause analysis of why the current infrastructure is not meeting demands is an important exercise. It will provide invaluable information on whether the infrastructure simply needs some minor upgrades or a major overhaul, so to speak.
The reality is if you simply install new technology to plug infrastructure issues you will face the same perpetual challenges and, disappointingly, will have invested a considerable amount of time and money with no tangible results.
Here, it’s important to partner with an ICT company that can provide you the requisite audit of your infrastructure system to clearly assess why it’s not performing optimally and what are the most feasible solutions going forward.
Conversely, investment in technology should be executed by the IT department and driven by the enterprise architecture. With the practical guidance from the IT department and a solution partner, business decision makers can rest assured the projects will be performed expertly and offer the required results.
Beware of the buzz
Must-have’ technology can also lead to massive and unnecessary expenditure. It is human nature to follow trends; again, organisations must clearly assess what their requirements are before investing in a technology solution because it looks good on paper and is attracting some industry buzz.
Automation is a perfect example. It can be a valuable organisational asset, however, if implemented haphazardly and without due diligence it has the potential to wreak havoc on organisation processes.
Too often we have seen organisations spending millions of Rands on automating their systems only to face the harsh reality that it’s simply not delivering.
Repairing these “failed” installations can prove to be just as expensive as the initial implementation. Again, doing a full audit and partnering with experts can save precious time and money.
Consider the people affect
We also find that technology decisions are made without considering the impact it will have on employees and processes. With new technology you are essentially changing the way people work which is why organisational change and process management is key.
In some industries, employees have worked on the same system for over 20 years and as such, their working methodology is based on this specific technology. A new implementation project must remain cognisant of the change it might bring and transition employees with minimal disruption to their work.
Keep a cool head
Lastly, working from home (WFH) has added an additional layer to companies’ technology upgrade challenges. As with other goods, companies are now ‘panic’ buying technology just to get their teams up and running without ensuring they have the infrastructure and processes in place to support the new solutions.
Whilst digital transformation is an important next step in the way we do business, it must not be done in a rushed, knee-jerk manner. It is an investment that needs to run optimally from the get-go which is why partnering with the right technology solution partner is the safest route.
By Sumit Kumar Sharma is an Enterprise Architect at In2IT Technologies