In the present-day, technology has made solid roads into the business world, and this trend is only going to increase in many ways. Yes, technology does seem daunting for businesspeople doing business the old-fashioned way. But, there is hardly any choice for anyone wanting to promote business today and make it successful; they have to tackle technology in their plans.
Planning technology needs
Today, no business can survive without technology since it has invaded all aspects of business, whether it is maintaining financial records, processing orders, or keeping in touch with suppliers and customers. This brings us to the critical issue of opting for technology that is apt for your business, then planning to introduce it and use it.
Why plan technology?
It is essential that the technology you opt for should be integrated into the business plan from the beginning. This is because many decisions, such as selecting your database program, if not chosen initially, may become financially unviable should you decide to change it at a later date.
You will also have to envision the growth and change that your company might undergo over a period of time, and select the kind of technology that will survive such changes. Make sure to conduct a SWOT analysis of your firm – analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your venture. Organizations need to consider all the factors, like customer service, social media marketing strategy, pricing, etc. to perform an efficient SWOT analysis. A cost-benefit analysis can also prove to be useful for your firm.
It is best to go for technology that is flexible and can be adapted to a changed scenario. The technology that you will integrate into your technology business plan also needs to be simple. So, avoid overly complex ones by resisting the temptation of extra ‘features’ that make the technology complex and, thereby, harder to use.
Which technology: Specialized or ‘Off the shelf?’
This will primarily be dictated by the kind of business your company is in. If your business has specific demands, it is best to go for industry-specific technology. You can easily get such technology from vendors who produce specialized software and hardware. Industry-specific software and hardware give you more compatibility, but they are also expensive. A mix of skilled and ‘off the shelf’ technology will prove a money-saver, without compromising on efficiency.
Key features of technology
When choosing technology, one should look for the functions it provides, its ease of use, the cost factor, security, and the ability to upgrade or expand it. Also, see if the technology can be integrated with any existing technology.
Where to use technology?
The answer to this question would come from your business operations. Look at the functions that can benefit from technology, such as accounting, taxes, inventory management, database management, desktop publishing, human resources management, etc.
Business plan with technology
A technology-heavy industry, such as e-commerce, will always come under the scrutiny of potential funders and venture capitalists. Seeking detailed information on the nature of technology helps to gauge its viability. In the business plan, you can include it under the head ‘Products and Services,’ or make a separate section for it. Describing technology in detail will cater to the expertise of the potential reader.
It’s nice to spell out how efficient the technology is for your company, but giving out too much information and revealing confidential company information regarding technology should be guarded against. In a highly competitive environment, it may be used by your competitors to your disadvantage.
Your decisions regarding the kind of technology you opt for and its planning and implementation will have a good impact on the success of your business. So, make technology a business priority.
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