The rapid rate of technological advances means many companies – even the smallest – are using advanced technology that would have been unimaginable even a few years ago. This shows no signs of abating as new and evolving tech is a constant; businesses now have to be permanently alive to new developments and ready to implement modern technology including software, in order to remain current and to stay ahead of competitors.
Preparation is key along with a willingness to embrace the changes that new tech ushers in, something which is true of both business owners and employees, who must move with the times and be ready and willing to adapt to the changes that new technology brings.
People working in accounting for their company 30 years ago couldn’t have known, for example, that from using a then-new dedicated software package loaded onto their PC they’d now be using cloud-based software capable of a multitude of finance-related tasks such as handling tax administration and inventory management.
How to prepare
It’s as much about having the right approach to tech changes as a set routine in place.
When new tech is considered, it’s important for all concerned within the organization to be prepared to work with it; this comes from staff understanding why it’s necessary for the company to adopt a particular technology to make recommendations on new elements that will improve overall business processes as well as service offerings.
A positive approach is better than the fear-based type; for example, it’s far better to extol the benefits of new tech in terms of, say, saving time and improving profitability than saying “we’ll be left behind if we don’t use it”. The ‘left behind’ argument may well be true but it’s not ideal to overdo its use with staff and might well not be particularly motivating.
Introducing new technology, ahead of time, can be the difference between a well-rounded business and one that is frantically playing catch up with both – competitors and within its specific industry.
The changing culture
By promoting a business-wide culture and philosophy of ‘change is good’ (along perhaps with other positives such as ‘ongoing learning’ and ‘growth’), those working in the business naturally welcome new tech rather than fear it or begrudge the upheaval it may cause at first, and the possible future changes it may make to work activities.
This cultural outlook can be supported by training not just when new tech comes in, but on an ongoing basis so staff learns how to get more out of the tech, be comfortable with it and get used to the inevitable changes to work routines as it evolves.
Highlighting the benefits of new tech changes can be another way of encouraging employees to embrace change. Offering things such as flexible and remote working can be a great way to get employees on board, whilst also broadening the benefits package offered by the business.
Certain major tech requires a period of setting up and implementation, and good project management will contribute to bringing new tech on stream smoothly and efficiently.
This will help staff think positively about it as opposed to possible resentments caused through haphazard installations that leave workers confused, so making it more difficult for them to do their jobs as they grapple with the new technology.
A strong plan of action as well as incorporating employees into the changes will enable them to feel a part of the process change, whilst also allowing a forum for discussion and suggestion, only further benefiting the business and allowing a wider acceptance of the new elements.
The ‘pain before gain’ principle
Despite a willingness to change and good project management, it’s fair to say some new tech can feel like taking backward steps at first while people acclimatize and learn how to use it efficiently.
It’s important to have patience and, as importantly, demonstrate to staff that it’s accepted that it may take a while for them to make the most of new innovations. No one can expect to adapt and successfully use new systems right away and a settling in period is needed to allow everyone to feel confident and to be engaged with new business processes.
Knowing that the benefits of new tech will more than outweigh the few months of familiarization, and instilling this into staff members, will help ensure the adoption of new tech is as harmonious as possible.
Selling the benefits
Before new tech is brought in, it’s very important that staff understand why it’s being done and how it’ll benefit the company – this is all part of an effective ‘tech implementation’ methodology.
It’s not always obvious why new technology is coming on stream, so it’s important that staff see the big picture so as to empathize with the need for the new tech rather than view it as a hindrance.