Planning Your Technology Ecosystem is Key to Surviving Digital DisruptionPosted by
If digital disruption threatens to shake up your industry, then it’s time to get your ducks in a row and plan your technology ecosystem.
If your business technology has grown organically over the years, then chances are today you’re stuck managing a hotchpotch mess of devices and technologies. Worse yet, small businesses might still be making do with consumer-style tools and services rather than taking the step up to business-grade options.
If this sounds like your business then it’s time to stop muddling through and start taking a coordinated approach to your technology ecosystem, while ensuring it remains aligned with your wider business goals. Not only will you see a productivity boost, as technology allows you to operative more effectively and efficiently, but you’ll also be better prepared when digital disruption brings nimble rivals to your sector. It might even empower your business to become the digital disruptor in your field.
Developing a holistic technology plan requires coordinating three key aspects of your ecosystem; communications and networking infrastructure, software and services, and finally hardware.
As part of this overhaul, small businesses relying on consumer-grade broadband plans should evaluate the benefits of upgrading to business-grade services. Business plans from fixed-line and mobile telcos tend to offer a range of advantages, from a single bill and unified management to improved support and Service Level Agreements.
While business-grade plans might appear more expensive, benefits such as data pooling and free calls between numbers on the same account might see you save money in the long run.
Remember, it’s not simply about saving money; it’s about working smarter. On a business-grade plan your staff can be less frugal when using the internet on the road to ensure they stay productive. Empowering staff to get things done on the spot – rather than waiting until they get back to their desk – can streamline operations, reduce turnaround times and improve your cash flow.
Consider whether your office LAN and Wi-Fi networks are a bottleneck to business productivity. Once again, upgrading from consumer networking gear to business-grade hardware can give your business a major shot in the arm.
With your broadband infrastructure and office networking in place, it’s time to think about how you can put it to work.
Don’t make the mistake of starting with hardware, getting your heart set on specific shiny gadgets, and then working backwards to fit your business to the devices. Instead, focus on finding the best software and services, allowing for your broadband infrastructure, and then choose the best tools for the job. Aim for device-agnostic services and think twice before tying your business to any technology that paints you into a corner by locking you to any one vendor or platform.
The idea is to take a holistic approach, ensuring all your business technology investments fit together to help you work smarter every day. Without a well-planned technology ecosystem, you’re more likely to be swept away when the wave of digital disruption hits your sector.