Question: Is your business tech helping or hurting you?
Technology is amazing. The innovations over the past few years alone have dramatically changed the way we work and live. As we innovate, our tech will advance exponentially. Tech helps us to do more, connect more, and have access to more information than ever before. It helps us solve problems and help people. With all these benefits, Is there a downside? Is it possible to have too much technology in your business? It’s time for a tech check-up.
This isn’t about whether A.I. Is evil or if your data is secure. It’s about using technology to help us be better at whatever it is we do.
There are a number of places technology shows up in our businesses. Some is low-tech: we implement a proven process to eliminate errors or improve productivity. Most tech is devoted to apps and software to help us track and deliver our products and services. Adventurous business people are using high-tech A.I. to assist in more advanced tasks. It’s all technology. And it all has the possibility of being helpful or hurtful.
It’s not about whether or not to use technology. Clearly we need it to keep up with demands. The challenge is to make sure you have the right type and amount of tech for your business purpose.
Two opportunities to keep tech in check
There are two opportunities to keep your tech in check: when you buy and when you plan.
Tech Check-up: When you buy
When you make the decision to first implement your tech it’s important to decide which is more important: the tech or the process. Is your process driving the decision to select the right tech or is the tech driving the business process?
There is no right or wrong answer. If you have a working process, it’s better to let it drive your select of a tool that will support your goals. However, if you don’t have a working process, or if it’s a broken process, it’s reasonable to let the tool you select to drive the business process. Just make sure it’s a proven process.
Tech Check-up: When you plan
The second opportunity to keep tech in check is during your strategic planning process. Normally done once a year, this process should include a review of your existing tech. I like to call this a tech audit.
Step 1: Capture a list of your technology. Prior to your strategic planning meeting, create a list of tech in use. Remember to include your processes (sometimes called Standard Operating Procedures).
Step 2: Rate each tool or process. Identify the criteria most important to your business. Common criteria include: ease of use; cost; reliability etc.
Step 3: Get personal. In this step it’s important (especially for an indie or remote worker) to assess the tech on how it’s performing it’s true purpose: helping you be a better human. I like to use some of the following questions (add your own to make it relevant for your business life):
- How long have you been using it?
- Is it still serving you?
- Has it improved your productivity or creativity?
- Has it freed time that you are now able to spend on more important things?
- Should you continue using it?
- Change how you use it?
- Replace it with a better technology?
- Stop using technology all together for that task?
Tech Check-up Challenge:
The purpose of technology is to help us to be better humans and contribute our gifts while we are here. If your technology is not enabling you to do your best, it may be time to let it go.