Choosing Technology that Works For You

tomato.jpgThe first tenant in selecting or implementing new technology is to evaluate your business and assess your needs. Choose technology that works for you.

It sounds simple, but it is the most common error businesses make when buying new technology. Think of purchasing a new computer system as soliciting a bank loan or investment. You must justify an expenditure to someone. When buying technology, practice justifying it to yourself. Ask yourself how this new system will help your business. What is the return on investment. Account for the non-pecuniary effects of the purchase. Does it require a lot of maintenance, headaches, downtime, time drain? Decide also, for what time period you will make this assessment. Are you looking 1, 2,3 or more years out.

Know Your Business

There is much to consider, but remember, the key is to know your business. If you are a grocier, you must know food. Do not let technologists rob you of your simple core and fundamental purpose. If you sell food, anything that distracts you from that end, is inherently bad for your company.

Think Macroscopically

Think big picture when implementing new technology. Do not fuss over tech-details. Describe your problem to your vendor(s) and see if the technology will help solve your problem. If you are asked to redefine your problem in order to fit the technology, remember: you are a grocier. You know your business. Do not let anyone tell you that you need to forget about tomatos for a second in order to understand some new wiz-bang gadget. Kindly show them the door.

Avoid Crisis Management Situations

Think of technolgy as a service. This goes double for software. Do not expect to buy a product and have it solve your problem. Expect an ongoing relationship with your vendor or VAR to work with you to solve your problem. Think of yourself as a thirsty wanderer in a desert. Did you bring enough water? If not, you might be gouged when you need it the most. Once you have arrived at a crisis managment situation, it is too late. Better to have worked out a water supply agreement with a vendor to keep your business running. Is water important to you? It had better be. You know how much water you need to function. Or put another way. If technology is important to the successful realization of your company, do not play games with its supply.

If you are buying piecemeal, not planning implementations, not evaluating future costs, then you might consider the possibility that technology is not important to your company and pursue other alternatives.


Re-evaluate your technology purchases every quarter. Did they do what they said they would do? Did they facilitate your business? Did they muck things up? Was your vendor responsive? Did the technology do what it was supposed to do?

Ask youself these questions frequently always in the context of your core competency, macroscopically, and with your eye always on the tomato.

You may also like...