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Is Your Business Technology Ready to Compete in 2018? Steps You Can Take Now

The businesses that lead in today’s economy are increasingly becoming those that can pivot, adapt, and implement change almost as quickly as new threats and opportunities present themselves. In contrast, companies which are stifled, siloed and unable to transition quickly are finding themselves falling further and further behind, and there is a point of critical mass where ultimately they will find themselves unable to compete against their more agile competition. Many businesses find themselves at a critical juncture, and now is the time to begin preparing.

In our highly digital world, the first place to start is by ensuring your company has the technological framework needed to adapt and make changes. Legacy IT systems can’t integrate with many of the new digital platforms and apps, slow bandwidth or Internet speeds can create insurmountable bottlenecks for employees and consumers, and data that's scattered across the organization, and not properly managed, can stop your organization from implementing required changes before you even get started.

Below are the steps you need to begin taking today, to ensure your company is ready to compete throughout the coming year.

Start Your Digital Transformation

Think of technology as a launching pad for your company. Having all of the newest toys isn’t necessarily going to help you if you don’t make smart business decisions, but if you put the right tools in the right hands, you can boost productivity and effectiveness.

The tough part is steering the ship in the right direction - and the bigger your organization is, the wider your turning radius will be. Although your business may be committed to digital transformation, it's often not as easy as many think to get managers and employees onboard.

If you’re going to get everyone to follow your lead and embrace the transformation, you’ll need to start with a solid, and agreed upon, digital transformation roadmap.

There are many different ways to get started with a digital transformation roadmap, but what each approach has in common is that there’s clear communication with your team about what you’re after, and equally clear targets for you to try to hit. If you can keep everyone on the same page, with specific goals, it'll be much easier to execute your vision, and elevate your business to a new place of competitiveness with technology.

To get started, put together an accurate assessment of where your company is now, what competitors and other comparable organizations are doing, and what’s on the horizon. This process begins with your team: have conversations with the people who'll actually be using the tools you’re considering to figure out what’s already working, and where there’s room for improvement.

Sit down face-to-face with people across your organization and have a discussion around the following questions:

  • What technology do you rely on?

  • Where are you running into trouble with technology?

  • What can’t you do that you wish you could?

  • What technology takes the most time for you to deal with?

  • What information do you track, and how do you track it?

  • How do you collaborate with other departments and third-party vendors?

  • What is your experience interfacing with my department?

  • What business goals do you have, and how does my team help you achieve them?

Getting answers to these questions will give you a clearer picture of the state of technology in your organization, from the people who depend on it the most, which will help you figure out what your priorities should be.