With more than 600 responses from decisions makers around the world, our recent Tech Train survey shed light on how leaders in different countries fare when it comes to implementing and investing in technology. Taken from ‘Are You Missing the Tech Train?’, below are six pieces of business advice – from getting ERP right to keeping an eye on the competition.
1. Learn from the success of others
Innovate or perish. Be it AI, blockchain, IoT, RPA or yet undiscovered innovation, technology is all around us and it cannot be avoided. Find a consultant you can trust and work hard to build your knowledge of which technology is right for your business’s growth.
Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. There are plenty of tried and tested cases of how technology has worked well, and not so well, around the world. So, learn from them and think about how you could tweak implementation and investment to suit your own circumstances.
2. Define the destination
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is, typically, most successfully implemented when it’s considered a company-wide project and not just something for one part of a business. When a company is changing its entire information services function or the way it deals with global data governance, that’s when ERP comes in most useful.
It is not designed for specific outcomes – and leaders will likely run into problems if they try to use ERP to create customer-orientated processes and complicated production planning systems. Once implemented, leaders need to invest in change management so their people can fully exploit cloud-based ERP that incorporates elements of Artificial Intelligence and Robotic Process Automation.
3. Keep your investment up-to-date
The right allocation of capital expenditure, time and attention on these technologies depends on the sector in which an organisation operates. If you’re selling technology for the home, for example, you need to ensure your Internet of Things investment is high enough to keep your offering up-to-date.
Customer appetite is influenced by geography. In some countries, customers are keener to try disruptive technologies than in others. In places where disruption is the norm, failing to invest 25% of your company’s IT budget and – maybe even more – could be severely detrimental to your growth.
4. Technology is not just for the private sector
Technology needs to be treated as a solution to the public sector’s issues: a way to speed up administrative processes like passport applications and a tool to better prioritise waiting lists for social housing, for example. It should be viewed as the key to staying relevant and not just something for the private sector.
Technology also plays a key role in the war for talent: if you want to be an attractive employer, people need to know they’ll have access to the tools that will help them do a great job. Public sector leaders should therefore talk to advisors, speak with sector specialists and learn from others who have already experimented with the technology. Implement strategies and then have your teams move with the times with you.
5. Ask fundamental questions
Don’t focus on the technology, focus on the benefits. Ask, how can we provide better customer service digitally? How can we implement new systems that improve our supply chain? Look at the elements of your business and ask the basic questions that will make them stronger. The other way to get a sense of what to implement is to look at what your customers want and if more technology will help you deliver it. And of course, take note of what your suppliers are doing and have a sense of competitor activity.
6. Think of technology as a tool
Put simply, don’t buy a hammer without making sure you have the nails. Consider if your organisation can absorb the technology and at the pace necessary. And do the R&D so you know what you want: the potential of some of these technologies is life-changing in terms of organisational efficiency and value, while others are necessary for daily operations.
Invest in the technology but remember that technology is a tool: your people need to be familiar and know how to implement it if you want results. Trying to introduce tech without strategic planning and processes to back it up will often be wasteful and distracting.
For more advice, you can download the full ‘Are You Missing the Tech Train?’ report below.