Blog: Taking your business digital
There are things to consider when introducing new technology
In this blog, Strategic Account Manager at Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, Paul Chapman discusses how businesses can best approach embracing new digital technology.
Digital technology is everywhere now and the things it can enable us to do would have been unthinkable just a couple of generations ago. But the sheer range of possibilities brings its own challenges and to pick out the true benefits to your business and avoid spending money chasing white elephants, there are some things to consider when choosing which new technology to introduce in your business.
With that in mind, here are a few of my thoughts on the subject:
Have a plan.
Sure there are basic technologies that most of us would consider a 'no brainer', such as access to the web, email and mobile phones. But if you're investing beyond those standard items, you need to have an outcome in mind. Don't start with a new technology and try to justify how and why it should fit in your business, start with a problem that you're trying to solve and see how digital technology can enable you to reach your goal.
Consider the blue-sky.
If that sounds as if I'm contradicting my previous encouragement to 'have a plan' then I may well be, but bear with me. I firmly believe that analysing your business, addressing the known barriers to growth and getting core systems in place first, is the right way to go. But having achieved at least some of that, comes the time to consider the opportunities that digital technology could open up that we don't even know are out there. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, artificial and augmented reality, additive manufacturing, big data and many more technologies could unlock growth and help you develop new and better products and services. Dipping a toe in the water of advanced technologies can be expensive though and risky, especially if it's not your core area of expertise, hence my final suggestion...
Use the support that's on offer.
Digital technology is such a fast-moving arena that it's almost impossible to keep up to date in every area. There are frequently several ways to achieve a desired outcome and experimenting on your own can consume a lot of time and cash. Luckily there are numerous support programmes out there to help your business gain the underpinning knowledge of digital technologies, increase leadership and management capacity to use the tools at your disposal and to help you identify and invest in the right solutions for your business.
The Growth Hub is your single point of contact to access support, no matter where you are on your digital journey. Our services are independent and free of charge to you, so please get in touch.