We see this all the time. Too often, organizations get caught up in flashy new technologies and don’t realize it’s a bad investment until it’s too late. Most small to medium size businesses do not have the time or expertise to fully integrate, talent need to support it and whether the new technology is going to provide the ROI.
As we flip the calendar on a year that has required more pivoting than ever before, the lure of new technology to “fix” what didn’t go right in 2020 can be very strong. Before you buy, we want you to be aware of the three detours you might face. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to approach your decision making from a smarter viewpoint.
Problem #1: The Misaligned “why’s” of Adopting a New Technology Now
Adding Tech Doesn’t Work Without a Plan – or for the Wrong Reasons
Sometimes new tech vendors will present a holistic approach that addresses longer-term solutions, but they don’t identify a specific reason why the organization should implement new technology.
These vendors go in, install the program and leave. Often these agreements are devoid of documentation of actions. So, there’s no accountability when problems arise.
It is easy to see how the priorities (the “why’s”) of the different parties become misaligned. For example:
The software vendor - They strive to grow market share.
The consultant – They are paid by the project and want to expedite the deployment of the software to as many organizations as possible.
Members of your organization - They just want the technology to solve a problem and for it to work the way it’s supposed to on day one.
Your IT department/MSP/PTO - They are charged with empowering end users, protecting your data not avoiding unnecessary complications to your network.
A Case in Point
One of Net-Tech’s clients ran into this situation with Microsoft Teams. The client installed Teams for free, however, they didn’t have a finish line in mind. They also didn’t have a plan for explaining the new technology to their employees. Without a real reason or plan for adopting Teams, the organization’s use of the tech created issues. Data was being insecurely transmitted and permissions were being bypassed.
This organization again encountered a problem when they announced they would offer a new online service for remote learning. They installed the programs and modifications they wanted, but there was no plan. When the rollout flopped, the organization was left holding the bag – not the consultants who urged them to install the new program.
If this organization had developed a plan, established boundaries and understood their vision for adopting Teams or the remote learning technology, they would have been successful. However, these aren’t easy tasks. Because the organization didn’t exert the effort to follow through, they were met with failure both times.
It’s important to keep costs in mind as well. Sometimes, major software companies will push out free programs. They might be sold on the idea that the new tech offers “every benefit of the cloud.”
But when it’s time to turn on the useful features, you’ll be hit with a monthly fee. This is especially true when it comes to security features, which are the “upsell” part of the process. Without them, you’ll leave your network security vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks.
One example of this problem in action can be seen with Microsoft Teams, which can be offered for free. Teams surpassed Slack in its share of the market, however, all the more robust security features make the program far from free.
Net-Tech tries to avoid Shadow IT. It’s up to us to set up and secure your technology in a way that you can’t get into trouble security-wise. We want you to be free to use the new tech’s great features while also making sure you’re secure. However, this often isn’t possible.
Problem #2: Want vs. Need
The rush to adopt the newest or most popular technology can create problems for your business in the long run. A desire to be “cool” can create unnecessary risk, and new technologies are only worthwhile if they serve a purpose.
One of Net-Tech’s clients was influenced to adopt SharePoint without a business justification. Net-Tech consulted with the organization and asked what the reason was for adopting the new service.
After an open conversation with Net-Tech, the organization realized that their top priority was making sure their employees were working from home effectively – and they already were. The organization concluded that they didn’t need to adopt the new technology and ultimately chose the safest route for their cybersecurity.
Problem #3: Understanding All the Security Implications
New technology always brings in new costs. We work to minimize the cost – both in your budget and operations. We work with and guide our clients, enabling them to use their technology cohesively. If there’s an internal initiative to adopt a new technology, Net-Tech wants to make sure that the whole process has been planned out with care and doesn’t create security vulnerabilities.
Net-Tech knows that if you do X (e.g., adopt a new, unvetted technology), then Y (e.g., a data breach) could happen – which would be bad news for your business. Net-Tech’s teams have honest, upfront conversations with our clients. It’s better for your long-term interests to know the potential issues now.
Partner with the Experts at Net-Tech
New technologies are constantly hitting the market, but organizations often encounter problems after adopting them. Decision makers need to think about new tech like any other investment and consider the short- and long-term consequences.
You need a trusted partner to guide you along the process of adopting new technologies. Net-Tech wants to protect your data and tell you when it’s safe to adopt a new technology – and when you need to wait.
Net-Tech’s IT services will help you ascertain who’s responsible for your data and help you plan a strategic path forward.