It’s an unavoidable fact: we live in the digital era, whether we like it or not, we’re reliant on technology in a variety of forms for our day-to-day personal and professional lives. Technology is a wonderful thing – boosting the speed and breadth of information and/or knowledge turnover within society.

Consumers nowadays are able to connect to the web for absolutely everything – from researching products to making purchases to communicating with organizations.

You need to embrace the digital era if you’re going to survive in today’s competitive, fast-paced marketplace. This means investing in technology that improves the way you operate. Forbes wrote a great article on prioritizing new business technology and how to pay for it, but before we even go into specifics, let’s talk a bit about WHY we shouldn’t focus solely on the price tag.

Ultimately, businesses need to ensure they’re leveraging in the right technologies to deliver value for customers while saving time for employees. This is key to ensuring IT will act as a business-enabler instead of yet another necessary evil. But so many companies see information technology as an annoying expense.

They dislike watching their money go towards something that doesn’t deliver any sort of tangible benefit they can touch and feel month after month. However, technology delivers more benefits than you’d think. Think about it: we’re all looking to add more hours to our day, and technology does exactly that.

How does technology add more hours to my day?

It’s simple: technology has an incredible impact as time goes on – allowing you to streamline operations as you do more with less. Something that would normally take 2 hours might be cut down to 10 minutes with the right solutions in place. Now imagine this impact spread out over a few (or dozens) of employees – multiplied by multiple years.

Far too many people delay purchases or upgrades because of the price tag, but that’s not necessary. Time is about a lot more than minutes or hours, it’s about the value of those minutes or hours. Consider this: you’d likely be more than willing to work a few extra hours throughout the week if it meant you’d be able to sit down and play with your kids or go see a movie with your spouse on the weekend.

Technology adds more hours to your day as you’re able to leverage innovative solutions that help you do the following:

  • Gain insight by analyzing historical and real-time data that gives you the information you need to identify business risks and opportunities.
  • Work in the moment in terms of seizing opportunities immediately as they come up and taking action when the impact will be greatest.
  • Streamline day-to-day operations via automation, better collaboration, and improved processes that help you work efficiently.

You become more agile and competitive as a company – eliminating manual tasks in accounting, marketing, customer relationship management, regulatory compliance, and a wide range of other areas. The impact is HUGE when we look at the time saved now and into the future. Forbes wrote another great article here on saving time and money through automation.

They mentioned the perfect tasks for automation are those that involve a lot of data entry, are repeatable and repetitious, and have no room for error. Now let’s consider the tasks that take up the most time… They’re the same as those that are perfect for automation, aren’t they? If you’re still looking at the price tag of investing in information technology, consider these benefits:

  1. Keep progress going at all times: If you or an employee is out of the office, you’re still able to keep progress going via cloud-based systems, such as email or remote access solutions that let you communicate and share files with clients, partners, and colleagues
  2. Secure sensitive information: We’re all worried about security breaches these days. How can we not be? A lot of companies quickly install the most expensive tools thinking that’s safest, but instead, a multi-layered, more affordable approach can be used to secure the network.
  3. Boost speed when automation doesn’t cut it: Sure, automating tasks is vital, but some things simply can’t be automated. If old systems still “work” but aren’t performing well, it’s crucial to update them in order to ensure employees can work efficiently.

Let’s look at how technology costs compare to other expenses in your business. The average employee: $30 – 60 an hour. The average office space: $2-3 an hour. The average workstation: $0.20 an hour. Your employees and your office space are important, of course, but your technology is what makes everything possible.

When you invest in technology, you’re going to spend some money, that’s a given. But more often than not, you’re saving a great deal of money over time. This money can be reinvested into a range of areas within your business – from products and/or services to people.

Perhaps the most important reason to invest in technology: gaining a competitive advantage. You need to stay ahead of the competition if you want to succeed. When you invest in technology, you’re able to stay on the cutting edge of innovation as soon as possible so you’re never left behind.

So what technologies should you invest in? That’s dependent on a range of factors – from budget to goals to objectives to challenges. You need to consider what’s right for you, and a good technology solutions provider can help. Entrepreneur wrote an interesting piece about technology investments you should consider. Check it out here as a great starting point

How can I start investing in technology?

There are advancements in the world of information technology each and every day. They promise to make you and your team more productive, efficient, and overall, better than the competition, but not everything will be right for you. Remember, information technology should always offer more value than the cost you’re paying. After all, you’re in the business to make money!

A good technology solutions provider can help you out here. In the meantime, however, you need to figure out what objectives you’d like to meet first and foremost. Are you struggling to get new customers in the door? Are your staff members spending more time than necessary browsing the web instead of getting work done? Make a list of challenges you’re dealing with before you try and identify solutions to invest in.

Once you’re ready to identify solutions, start looking at technologies you’d like to invest in and rank them in order of priority. Chances are, you’ll want to take it slow, monitor how things are going, and make changes to your infrastructure environment as time goes on.

Don’t forget, you can implement all the technology in the world but without proper management and maintenance of your systems, you’re looking at an even bigger mess with issues popping up constantly. You need monitoring, backups, security measures, and more to protect your investment.

Did you enjoy learning about the importance of investing in technology?