Tip 8 of 12
Can I cope with the changes on the horizon? – Rapidly changing technology, increasing globalization and other business trends can prove too much for some business owners. Keep your eyes trained three or four years down the road, and if you don’t believe you can keep up, sell before your failure to adapt catches up with you. “Some people find it hard to leave, but if you wait too long, the industry may pass you by.
How to Keep Up with Tech Trends? – Technology keeps changing at a fast pace and it can be overwhelming to keep up with the tech trends that come out almost every other day. Ignoring the trends altogether is not a smart and viable option though since you run the risk of missing out on important new tech updates, software and hardware that could improve your business processes and even cut operational costs. Technology can help you keep up with the dynamics of the business landscape, so you remain competitive and profitable. The secret to keeping up with tech trends without wasting time and constantly changing your IT resources is to know what is relevant and useful to you. Here’s how to do it.
Understand your needs – You will spend a lot of time and waste your money on software updates and licenses and be purchasing hardware that your business needs if you don’t understand your needs and have a clear definition of the objectives you want to achieve. This also means you will be looking for tech trends on the wrong platforms. For instance, if your goal is to get more sales through your website then you should be looking out for the latest SEO tactics and content marketing strategies rather than news on, say, ERP solutions, which are still important but not relevant to your specific needs.
Know where to find information – There are millions of tech blogs and websites on the internet, some more reputable than the others. There are also niche websites that feature only one area of technology and nothing else. These ones are the best if you want to stay updated on specific niche technology topics. Big Samo is one such site that deals specifically with online games. Also, follow your favorite tech writers and companies on social media and subscribe to the mailing list of your software providers. Those newsletters are quite informative whenever there are updates and new developments.
Attend industry events – Industry events are a great place to network with fellow professionals and rub shoulder with the creators of some of the technologies you commonly use. This holds true for both business events and tech events where tech leaders usually attend to market their products and services. Through events like these, you can predict future technological trends and become more conversant with new technology. You will be surprised how much goes on in the world of technology that you aren’t aware of when you attend industry events.
Take your time – As much you need to keep up with technology, don’t be in a rush to pick every new technology and device in the market. You need to follow the due process when introducing any new technology into your business. This is because change often comes at cost of training new staff and phasing out the old technology for the new one. More importantly, you need to assess the benefits of the new technology otherwise you are better off running with your current version. Also, the later versions of any new technology are better since the developers have identified bugs and other issues and resolved them.
Answers to these and many more questions can be found in The Exit Strategy Handbook. See Chapter 15, “Technology, Software and Hardware Checklist,” page 121.
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