by Ferdi Roberts
Technology buys are not a one-hit deal. Many technology purchases address your business need today, yet can become a problem as soon as your business or market changes. You need to be considering the entire life-cycle of your business — or, to quote a term I have heard many times during my time as a business manager — “cradle to grave.”
Take project management for example. It might make sense to buy popular project management software licenses when your business is small – allowing you to attract more customers. Although, this also means more projects, more employees and more license fees as your company grows – leading to lost time as everyone struggles with the software.
That technology decision now limits your ability to operate and scale your business.
On the other hand, today you can find software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps that you can use for a few dollars a day, can be accessed and used by any Internet-connected device as well as a PC, and you can even easily add users without crushing your business with additional costs. Yet SaaS apps – which more easily adapt to your business needs – still must be evaluated based on long-term value to the business.
When you add a technology to your organization, make sure you understand how it will be used in your business and where it is going to add value. Does the solution allow you to turn on additional features as needed? Is it easy to use? Or, do your employees need to take expensive training courses? Can it scale as your needs grow? Every time you make a technology purchase or subscribe to a SaaS app, it must help support your desired entire ‘end-to-end’ process. Before looking at a solution, take the time to map out the entire ‘lifecycle’ of the issue you are trying to address.
It’s the only way you’ll ensure your new technology supports your business needs from “cradle to grave,” from the “seeds to the leaves,” or, in Silicon Valley-speak, “garage to personal jet.”