You don’t want to throw good money at risky tech investments or projects, especially in this climate. But you know you need to innovate and take advantage of all the opportunities technology offers your business. How do you balance this equation?
1. Understand your business needs
Businesses often ask for our help in procuring and rolling out some piece of technology. "We need laptops", they might say. But chances are, there's a smarter solution to their challenges.
Hardware is just a means to an end, and it might not be the best one. Think about what you’re actually trying to achieve as a business, not what kind of technology you think you should have. If you're struggling to do this internally, outsourcing this activity to a partner who specialises in AI consulting can provide you with the insights you need.
2. Explore your processes, culture, and tech
Map out your key business processes and identify opportunities and pitfalls. Run workshops and whiteboarding sessions with your employees to explore their key pain points and areas of friction against productivity. By getting input from all stakeholders, you’ll start to build up a rich picture of how your business operates at every level.
As well as covering critical business needs, identifying nice-to-haves that add value is also important for a long-term strategy. You want to make sure those capabilities are available down the road without needing to divert your roadmap.
We find that just exploring your current environment – from people to process to tech – reveals insights that offer real value further down the line. So document your findings so you can refer back to them later.
3. Get the fastest route to value
The right business tech investments deliver value fast. Most businesses are on a continual technology journey, so its important that you’re getting value out of every step. Otherwise, any return on your investment will take years to materialise.
Break down the roadmap of your digital journey and identify the key steps and each iterative outcome. You'll not only see the value in what you’re doing but keep your key stakeholders engaged and committed to your long-term goals.
Here are a few tech investment use cases that we’ve worked on.
Investment Scenario #1
Goal: Improve business agility
“Building agile and scalable technology architecture will continue to be a priority as businesses look to grow their resilience.” – Deloitte
Technology gives businesses the ability to respond to changing demands in an ever-complex world. It goes hand in hand with collaboration, which leads to streamlined processes and more efficient projects.
From unified comms to CRM systems, collaborative technology is key to an agile business. But the real gamechanger is the cloud. Hosting your environment on the cloud allows you to react in minutes to customer demands on your resources and applications. It provides this scalability without friction or outrageous expense because costs can be optimised and managed with ease.
Discover how we achieved this for the University of Surrey.
Investment Scenario #2
Goal: Deliver better experiences
“Leading in the future will demand rethinking core assumptions about how an enterprise works and redefining the intersection between people and technology.” – Accenture
Most businesses recognise the need to be more customer-focused. This means understanding their needs when interacting with your business as well as your products and services.
If you do marketing through your website, it’s likely the idea of chatbots has been floated up to you. They’re a hit among some demographics, with 70% of millennials reporting positively on their interaction.
With advancements in natural language processing, AIs can respond faster to customer queries, enabling better interactions with customers. AI can also help extract sentiment insights from data sets, giving innovators better direction when considering new processes and products.
Other areas to consider are IT platforms built around mobility, cloud, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and social networking which can play a transformational role in a growing business.
Discover how we achieved this for Rufus Leonard.
Can you afford to stand still?
Tech moves fast and businesses are innovating in so many directions. Within industries, we’re seeing businesses leveraging cloud services, security technologies, 5G for mobile connectivity, blockchain, IoT, and quantum computing. The list goes on. Having the right energy for growth and a data-driven, value-focused strategy will enable you to see great returns.