Experts from the areas of strategic planning, technology, financial management and human resource management provide a step by step action plan for successful implementation of technology to drive business growth.
Covers HOW technology can contribute to achieving business goals, how to select the best technology to achieve objectives, how to manage the financial aspects of a successful implementation and how to ensure that staff are on board and the technology is fully adopted.
This month’s action plan
Your best practice checklist for using technology to drive business growth
For each item on the checklist mark it as: completed, not applicable for your business, or high/medium/low priority for action.
From a business strategy perspective (Stewart Clark, SCS Performance)
1. We appreciate how technology fits into our overall business operation
2. We full understand the capability of our existing technology AND use it to drive our business forward
3. We actively seek out technology improvements which will either save us time, improve our effectiveness or add profit to our bottom line
4. We understand the technology available for our industry and what our competitors are using
5. We apply a budget to the continuous improvement of our technology and see it as an investment, rather than an expense
6. We have a maintenance plan in place to ensure that our existing technology, is well maintained and unlikely to fail
From an IT perspective (Damien Battersby, Proactive IT Solutions)
1. I have listed my current business challenges so i can investigate using technology to solve them.
2. I have reviewed by business plan for the next 12 months and determined which areas require technology investment to succeed.
3. I have a program setup that ensures aging IT infrastructure is replaced on a schedule before it effects team productivity.
4. I have integrated software applications for my key business areas including accounting, customer management, marketing, HR and project/job management functions in my business.
5. I have trusted technology adviser/s who I meet with at least yearly to review my technology and plan for future investments.
From a financial management perspective (Robin Snelling, ceefo)
1. We ensure that we are aware of the latest developments in technology to ensure that we are not lagging behind our competitors
2. When we plan to implement new technology, we consider the impact on our customers – both good and bad
3. When we introduce new technology, we ensure that our staff are well trained in the changes
4. We ensure that money spent on new technology will bring a positive impact to our bottom line within three years
5. We are conservative in our estimates of the costs of new technology and the time it will take to implement
6. We prepare a full financial case for projects which will cost more than $100,000 – hardware/software/subscription costs, impact on sales, the human cost (time disruption, staff savings, redundancies), other cost savings
From a HR perspective (Jennie Grigg, Blink Connect)
1. We have a clear communication plan to staff answering the 5 Ws – Who, What, Where, When & Why?
2. Training has been provided to all staff in the form of education, coaching and access to training material
3. Ongoing support has been provided by a dedicated ‘go-to’ person/champion
4. Ambassadors have been selected to help drive engagement and adoption
5. We have created a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) document for staff to access online
6. Group Q&A sessions have been scheduled on a weekly / monthly basis over the first 90 days
7. We review / check-in regularly and make sure any key learnings have been shared with the wider business
8. We have a plan for the roles that will be impacted by the introduction of the new technology