By Mike Sole, Sales Director, LBMC Technology Solutions
Technology is evolving at a rapid clip, and so are the ways businesses can benefit from it. New technology makes it easier and faster for businesses to collect data and free up time for your most valuable assets, your people and to focus on high-value activities rather than repetitive, manual and time-consuming tasks. Continuing to use legacy systems not only impacts the bottom line, but even worse, it impacts customer experience and the ability to recruit and retain top talent. Many employers are seeing the need to level up, but how do you know if your technology is working for you or against you? Here are four signs that business-tech experts at LBMC Technology Solutions have seen that tell companies they’re ready for a change in technology.
Moving to the cloud
In recent years, the use of cloud solutions has skyrocketed. Some businesses were initially hesitant to move from onsite to cloud-based systems. However, for an increasing number, the pros of going to the cloud — which offers rapid enhancements and integrations — outweigh any concerns. These companies are finding they no longer have the time or budget to maintain aging servers and costly annual upgrades, and they realize they need to be able to adapt more quickly and securely. These businesses are turning to the cloud, which means a new system and often a new technology provider.
Changing data needs
Financial leaders increasingly need data in real time, so they can gather, analyze and slice and dice the information to evaluate their business in different ways. Those who wait for data to come through reports are finding themselves behind on changes and trends in their markets. They are missing significant opportunities to make changes that will benefit both their employees and their businesses and differentiate themselves from their competitors. Many leaders recognize they need to take a forward-looking position. And forward-looking analysis requires real-time data.
Mergers and acquisitions
Legacy systems are often limited in what they can do. When a business changes or grows, their technology should as well. This is particularly true with acquisitions and mergers, where visibility across entities or companies is critical. According to Accenture Strategy, 87% of U.S. businesses acquired a company in the last two years. These companies need new technology solutions that can quickly adapt and expand to keep operations running smoothly.
Another area where companies are growing is through their use of automation. Advances in technology have made data easier to collect using software rather than through manual processes. Systems today are much more open and collective, enabling easier access to business-critical data and acting on that data at lightning speed. AI and blockchain technology is not only introducing itself thru our Internet of Things and personal devices, but rapidly being incorporated into core operational and financial systems which will dramatically impact the way businesses operate.
Companies that are growing and evolving need the technology they use to keep up. LBMC has seen businesses benefit from technology strategies that make the tech work for them. This includes technology that makes it easy to purchase and to see ROI, as well as technology providers who focus on micro-verticals, specializing in specific strategies to engage and nurture a company’s particular market. Here are a few additional tips to keep in mind when searching for the right technology solutions partner.
- Choose a provider who is certified, qualified and experienced. Not all are. LBMC spends a lot of time working with companies that have suffered major technology problems due to unqualified technicians and consultants who are not able to deliver what they need. This type of situation can be painful for all involved and costly in dollars and lost productivity. It’s best to avoid it in the first place.
- Find a technology partner who is both technical- and business-minded. Your provider should have expertise in a variety of service areas, not just in the niche for which you are looking. Select a partner with a general understanding of how the systems support your business so they implement from a holistic perspective. This has the added benefit of allowing you to go back to them for other needs instead of starting over with a new provider every time your needs change or progress.
- Compare apples to apples. Value does not equal low cost. While price is important, and you should evaluate all options, make sure you are comparing quality and level of service. Get detailed quotes with specific deliverables, understanding the added value of having a partner versus just a vendor. Technology solutions are too important to your organization to only look at hard cost. It can be the “soft costs” that accumulate like dust bunnies in your business processes.
- Technology should support your specific business requirements, goals and objectives. Be bold in questioning your technology resources (internal and external) and evaluate how projects and investments are aligning with your larger corporate goals and strategies. A technology partner should be able to answer these questions easily since they should have been asking them all along.
Businesses need a technology provider to be a single voice for technology services across a broad set of solutions as well as a provider like LBMC that offers bundled solutions and predictable service engagements. It’s important to do your due diligence to make sure you are making the right choice in your technology solutions provider. The time spent on the front-end vetting your appropriate technology partner will pay off not only in terms of dollars, but in less frustration and wasted effort.
Mike Sole is the Sales Director for LBMC Technology Solutions, a full-service IT consulting firm providing Network Engineering, Financial Software, Content Services and Process Automation, Custom Development, and Business Intelligence and Reporting, specializing in cloud-based solutions. Contact Mike at https://www.lbmc.com/contact/ or 615-690-1938.