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How To Introduce New Technology
- Nov 07, 2017 -

New and emerging technologies such as computers, printers, telecommunications, CD-Rom and multimedia are flooding the business marketplace. But there's much more to introducing these technologies than simply purchasing the hardware and the supporting software. To avoid costly mistakes, remember that the success of any technology purchase in your organisation is directly proportional to the time and effort you spend on the planning you do before purchase and implementation...

1. Develop a rationale for the use of the new technology.

The first step in planning for the introduction of any new technology in your organisation has little to do with the equipment at all. Before considering hardware and software, spend time thinking about your organisation and what you want the technology to do, what software will help you meet those objectives, and what hardware will best run the software.

Here are some ideas to help in the process of developing that rationale:

  • Do an audit. What technologies are currently being used, and for what reason, in such areas as: personnel, payroll, record keeping, library administration, word processing, scheduling, stock control, budget, communication networking, transport etc.

  • How effective is current usage? What skills do staff currently possess? What staff development opportunities are available? What consultants are available? Who is responsible for the company's overall technology use?

  • Verify the audit findings with the users.

  • Formulate a plan which specifies how the new technology will facilitate more effective training, production, or administrative practice.

  • Establish a reasonable timeframe for purchase and implementation.

Never purchase hardware and software before having identified clearly the purpose to which the technology will be put.

2. Build ownership among the key participants.

Any new initiative or purchase must be owned by and reflected in the beliefs and actions of the participants if it is to lead to altered professional behaviours. Without involvement and commitment, successful implementation will be difficult. Develop strategies for involving relevant staff members in the appropriate decision-making processes. Consider task forces, committees, regular communication, mentoring, and awareness sessions.

3. Examine fully all budgetary considerations.

Funding for technology initiatives extends beyond the initial purchase costs of expensive hardware. Consider also maintenance, replacement and upgrading costs, as well as the costs of software, ancillary items, and training. Ideally, a 3-5 year fiscal plan should account for these costs and incorporate such alternative financial strategies as lease or buy-back agreements.