Information technology (IT) is an enormous boon to today's businesses. It helps companies become more efficient, productive, and innovative. However, that doesn't mean you should purchase every flashy new tech released on the market.
Before pulling the trigger on any business IT purchase, ask yourself these six questions.
1. Does the tech solution support our business’s goals?
Identify the potential benefits that the new technology can provide your company and if these are aligned with your company's objectives. Will it improve customer experience, streamline internal processes, or help you achieve any other goals your company has set?
For example, chatbots let you answer customers' queries beyond business hours without having to hire more personnel. Meanwhile, a password manager fortifies your company's security posture while helping your employees retrieve all of their passwords easily.
If the IT solution does not help your business attain its goals, then it's not a worthwhile investment.
2. Does the intended user want it?
You might be excited about a new technology you’re eyeing, but do the intended users feel the same way? If your employees think the IT solution complicates their job, they may not use it at all. Or if your customers find the tech too cumbersome, they might complain or even consider taking their business elsewhere.
To avoid such scenarios, ask the IT vendor if you can test out the product first. Involve the intended users during this trial period so you can get their feedback and determine whether the IT solution is right for your company.
3. Is it compatible with our business’s current system?
Make sure the new technology will work well with your company’s existing systems and infrastructure. For example, if you're considering migrating to a cloud-based storage system, you need to check if your internet connection can support it. Otherwise, you might experience lags and disruptions when using the new system.
Meanwhile, if you're planning to integrate new software into your existing online communications platform, both solutions should speak the same programming language so they will work together seamlessly.
4. What is the total cost of ownership?
The purchase price is not the only cost you should consider when investing in new technology. You must also take into account associated expenses, such as installation, customization, training, technical support and maintenance, and upgrades. Get a detailed breakdown of all the costs involved so you can better assess whether the IT solution fits your budget and if its benefits justify the total cost.
Moreover, check if the new technology will need another solution for it to work. For example, if you’re buying new software, determine if you need to buy specific hardware or upgrade the devices you already own.
5. Is there a similar IT solution I can get for free or at a lower price?
Just because a product is popular or well-reviewed doesn't mean it's the best solution for your company. It might be too expensive compared to similar solutions or have more features than you need, so scour the market first before making the purchase.
Additionally, don't immediately dismiss free and open-source alternatives, as these are sometimes just as good as their paid counterparts.
6. What IT solution are our competitors using?
Is the competition using the same technology? If they are, observe their experiences with it. This may help you think of better ways to implement the same technology or realize that you need an alternative.
But if they're not, it doesn't mean you shouldn't consider that solution anymore. Perhaps the one they're using suits their needs but not necessarily your company's unique requirements. To determine this, assess whether your competitor's tech meets your needs better than the solution you're currently considering.
By taking the time to ask these questions, you can avoid making hasty tech decisions that might end up as costly mistakes. SpectrumWise can guide you in purchasing the IT solution that’s best for your company. Schedule a consultation with us today.