New business technologies are essential to the success of your business
AAlmost a third of business leaders in the UK admit their organizations lag behind when it comes to adopting new technologies, according to the TomTom Telematics senior executive survey, conducted in June 2017 Some 400 or more senior executives at companies with five or more employees were surveyed, and 31% said their companies were “not quick” to adopt technological innovations.
To some, this may come as a surprise, given that numerous reports show that now, more than ever, it pays to adopt technology. However, Dominic Perks, co-founder and managing director of startup investors Hambro Perks, believes that a much higher percentage of companies – especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – do not engage in tech at all. technology.
“There’s a huge ‘long tail’ of companies that you would call ‘late adopters of technology’,” he says. “There are a lot of small business owners who simply haven’t had technology in their working life; they just don’t “know” the technology and what is possible.
“We found that most sole traders and small businesses don’t even have websites.”
Why are companies clinging to old systems and ways of working in 2017? Reluctance to change, and therefore reluctance to take the technological leap, is an oft-cited reason. The array of innovative products on offer can also be daunting.
And for organizations considering an upgrade, the price of implementing the technology and training staff to use it correctly can be hard to justify, especially for small business owners who can’t afford it. not to worry about the bottom line.
Indeed, the TomTom Telematics study showed that 36% of respondents cite cost as the biggest barrier to technology adoption, while the difficulty of introducing new systems comes in second with 16%.
“One of the main reasons companies are slow to adopt new technologies is that they have been ripped off so often in the past,” suggests Adrian Smith, founder of London Web Factory, which provides internet solutions to a range of customers.
“In my company, it is very difficult to find people and products that can really deliver on their lofty promises. This has been going on since the start of the dotcom bubble in the mid-1990s.
“Furthermore, it is difficult to determine which technologies will improve our working lives and add real value to internal operations and, by extension, to customers.”
Risk vs Reward
Smith’s observation is reminiscent of the “hype cycle” of technology products, as measured by US research firm Gartner. Its overriding message is that ultimately, although they made a big splash in the media at first, nascent technologies rarely take off and realize their potential.
“Everyone wants to be faster at adopting technology, but being on the cutting edge of technology is fraught with challenges for any business,” warns Cheltenham-based business consultant Marc Lawn. “The cost of emerging technology is often too high for any return on investment (ROI) calculation to work, and there could also be technology compatibility issues.
“A business can arguably lose ground while waiting to adopt the technology, but a slightly cautious approach reduces the risk until it becomes more acceptable. The trick is not to be too far behind.
Lee Penson, founder and chief executive of Penson, the innovative architectural firm behind Google’s inflatable office spaces, counters that investing in technology should be a “no-brainer”, and does so in a way sincere and culture-changing. “Technology can unleash potential, give you freedom and make you fly,” he says.
For Mr. Penson, the supposedly prohibitive costs and risks of technology adoption are easily outweighed by quick wins. If a company invests well, even in basic technology to begin with, it can instantly boost staff motivation as well as the company’s attractiveness to potential customers and employees. However, ensuring that the workforce is adequately trained to harness the power of new technologies is paramount.
“If you want to transform and hit the reset button, make a big spend on technology because it will dramatically expand your global reach,” Penson says.
“But you just have to be committed. There is absolutely no point in taking the plunge and not taking full advantage of the technology at your fingertips.