Dealing with the technology market can be tough. There is so much out there and it is often difficult to know what is right for your business.
When adopting a new stack of technology, you need to make sure it solves your business challenges but equally important is that you need to make sure you are not over sold on something you do not need.
How do you navigate this often-uncharted territory to achieve the best outcome for your business? Here is a practical guide.
Focus on the big picture
When businesses adopt new pieces of technology, the core focus is not the technology itself. The focus should always be the set of outcomes that need to be achieved.
For example, when migrating to the NBN you are not really focusing on switching off copper and connecting fibre. You are focusing on having a stable connection that delivers faster Internet and carries voice traffic without issues.
All of a sudden you are not only looking at NBN fibre but also dedicated fibre or wireless options such as 4G and 5G. These different options can also help you achieve those outcomes and boost your staff productivity. Focusing on the outcomes help you widen your perspective and ensure there is no stone left unturned.
When discussing solutions with your vendor, always ask them how does the solution achieve your outcomes? Centre your discussion squarely on the outcomes because it gives you a basis of assessment and it helps you get the most out of your budget.
Justifying the proposal
Technology is usually not that straight forward. There could be a lot of components in any given solution. Hardware, software, licensing, professional services, and the list goes on. How can you tell if you are not being oversold?
A good practice is to get your vendor to justify their proposal. A capable and honest vendor should fundamentally believe in the solution they proposed, that the solution is crafted to achieve your business outcomes in the best way possible.
Get your vendor to explain in detail. Why do you need this piece of hardware? What is this licensing fee for? What is the scope of their professional services? Why do they need x number of weeks to deliver? This is not a confrontation, far from it. It is a due diligence check on every component of the solution. After all you want to be crystal clear about what is it that your business is buying and why you are buying it.
Get a second opinion
A second opinion is not just a second quote. A second opinion gives you a chance to validate the original solution.
Remember your core focus is to achieve the set of business outcomes. So ask the second vendor what is the rationale behind their proposal. How did they design their solution, and how will it achieve your outcomes? Compare that to your original proposal and see if both vendors are on the same track. If not why are there differences?
Focus on clarifying the thinking process and the design principles, instead of just finding a cheaper option. It helps you filter out the truth from the ‘sales talk’ and gain control of the situation.
Remain in the driver seat
In sum, stick to the business outcomes you need to achieve and find out from different vendors how to achieve your goals. This is the best way to remain in the driver seat.