Keeping on top of the latest technology can seem like a challenging task, especially for smaller companies with limited resources. However, falling behind the curve opens you up to being overtaken by the competition. However, upgrading regularly can boost productivity and help with product effectiveness and quality.
Many recently implemented technologies are changing the way businesses function. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G are being adopted more quickly than anyone expected. This paradigm shift has drastically injected technology into businesses in countless unique ways. Cognovi Labs has launched an upgraded AI to understand emotions, aiding businesses in communicating their products and promoting their business. Experts predict companies will move around 60% of their data to cloud services by 2025.
If you want to stay up with industry standards and take advantage of tools hitting the market, you must figure out how to upgrade frequently. Here are some fast and easy ways to accomplish the task without breaking the bank or driving yourself crazy.
1. Analyze Current Technology
Start with an audit of your current technology and where you are. Look at hardware, software, cybersecurity and data management via cloud storage and third-party services. Are you utilizing current software to the best of your ability? Is there anything outdated? Have things changed?
One example of a current trend is businesses using chatbots to create content for their websites. While it seems like a smart thing at first glance, the results are rather lackluster. However, brands can use the new AI advancements to brainstorm ideas, come up with a marketing calendar or otherwise tweak strategies.
2. Crunch the Numbers
Before you think about the upgrades to add to your current lineup of technology tools, consider how much you can afford to spend on new software and hardware. Should you sell old equipment when making way for new items? Some things hold their value better than others. Make sure you understand the worth of something before selling it to get the most amount possible to apply to your current needs.
3. Know Your Goals
Take a look at what technology is out there. If you don’t already stay up with the latest news publications, subscribe to a few. What seems most likely to help your company grow and give you a good return on your investment?
Set some goals for what you’d like to achieve with new technology. Do you want better safety and site security? Figure out the benefits of each type of tech and how it might best help your brand in the long run.
4. Conduct Research
Once you have an idea of your organization’s budget goals, go ahead and do some research on available technologies. How much does each cost and what benefits does it provide? Make a list of several providers for each software or machine you need to upgrade.
If you work in a niche industry, you may have fewer options for machine upgrades, for example. In a situation where only one manufacturer makes a machine to create your product, you could look at different models they offer or if you can purchase the item used.
5. Sort Options
You know it’s crucial to adapt as technology changes, but where do you start? You should already have a list of the upgrade goals for your brand. Now, rank them in order of importance.
Which ones will you use in your daily work? An architecture firm or a design agency might utilize computer aided design frequently and want to add 3D model capabilities. Experts estimate the 3D CAD design market is worth $9.95 billion globally. Solutions abound in a growth industry such as CAD. Which options are most affordable to start with?
You can always rearrange items as things change. Creating an agile company that adapts well to change is crucial and that includes which technologies you adopt first based on your available budget and current needs.
6. Automate Updates
Look for tools that automatically update for you. If you use a particular software, do they allow an automatic update download or do you have to manually go in each time there’s a new release? The more processes you can automate, the more time you’ll have for creative endeavors, such as inventing a new product or marketing in a fresh way.
Should You Worry About Updating Your Business’ Tech?
If you want your company to stay secure from hackers and keep up with the competition, you should pay attention to changing technologies and things to make your business run more smoothly. If you keep up with changes, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by shifts in the industry. Take the time to study what’s available, pay attention to the competition and upgrade as you can afford along the way.
Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.