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How to avoid losing money on new technology systems.

Your company has invested in a new technology system. But no-one is using it, and slowly it becomes something you need to start ‘pushing’.

Perhaps utilization increases and you see a return on your investment. Or perhaps, resistance is too strong and the time required to continue ‘pushing’ is too much. You let the system go – you tried but it’s not worth spending more money on. Best to stick with how things are, even if they are inefficient, costly and antiquated.

How to avoid this scenario? These are simple things to keep in mind:

1. The system you choose has to make something better.

Technology for technology’s sake is of no use to anyone. It is easy to be sold on a product’s ‘bells and whistles’ – endless feature and functionality lists that promise to solve all your issues. But these ‘shiny bits’ must be applicable and appropriate to your business.

Understand the true value of the system from a practical perspective. If possible, identify a ‘hook’ – something about the technology that will make users WANT to use it.

It’s new? Not good enough. It will provide new data insights that will help users hit sales targets? Hooked.

2. Get 'buy-in' by communicating the why.

Sounds obvious, but in our experience, not always practiced. If you’re asking people to change their behavior i.e. use a new technology system, they are going to want to know what’s in it for them.

By directly identifying existing issues within your organization and successfully demonstrating how the new system will solve these, you will have identified the why to your decision.

But be specific and make it tangible. It’s not enough to say ‘it will makes us more efficient’. That may be so, but you need to give relevant examples. Will the new solution reduce the number of steps involved in generating a quote? Will it automate currently manual tasks? Say so.

3. Allow input into the decision-making process.

The best place to start is by asking questions. Ask your users what they feel their biggest pain points are day-to-day, or what would make them more efficient/effective/organized?

If you have identified a need for a tech solution within your organization, then you may find the answers come as no surprise. But perhaps you discover something you hadn’t thought of and it influences your decision to the extent that you don’t spend your money on an inappropriate solution.

Either way, your users will feel like their concerns have been listened to and directly addressed when the new technology is rolled out, helping to ensure higher adoption rates.

4. Choose a vendor that provides on-site training.

Whilst beneficial as a follow-up option, online or ‘self-paced’ tutorials are far from ideal when introducing a new technology system. Beware of platforms that do not offer some sort of live training – this may be conducted online via web conference, but at least there is a real person involved to immediately answer questions and address issues.

Asking users to not only change how current behavior but also teach themselves exactly how to do it is a recipe for disaster

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