From the local diner that's still cash only to the insurance office decorated with file cabinets, the number of businesses, old and new, that are resisting IT is astounding. Many business owners still struggle with implementing meaningful, operation driving tech, and it's having a tangible and negative effect on their overall operations. Here are four myths still haunting business owners regarding IT.
1. Advancement Will Deter Loyal Clients
Humans are creatures of habit and we know that feeling of anxiety that washes over us when we have to inform our clients of plans to change our business. How will they react? Will they continue to rely on us? Will the change send them packing? The fact is, customers and clients expect technological advances. They are seeing it everyday in their own lives. At their children's school, on their phone, within their own company operation - it's everywhere. You shouldn't be afraid of advancement; you should fear whether or not they'll stick around if you avoid the future.
"Customers want convenience and efficiency more than anything, and IT offers both," said Andrei Antipov, Security Researcher for the InfoSec Institute. "Take small steps, such as offering a new IT feature as an optional addition/replacement to an existing one. You may be surprised how many of your customers will welcome the change. Don't forget to highlight the security measures for the new feature and its benefits."
2. The Team Won't Latch On
Equally difficult to consider is the reaction of your team when you implement IT updates. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and research available to guide you in your transition. Consider your communication. Rather than try to overhaul on your own, work to make your team a part of the process, empowering them to embrace these changes.
For concerns over your customers as well as your employees, there's an important theory based on years of research called the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology, or UTAUT. First published in 2003, the study presents an in depth look at the various factors which can affect tech acceptance. Once informed, you can cater your implementation process to employees and clients from which you fear the most backlash, ultimately minimizing loss and maximizing business potential.
3. Outsourcing Will Solve Immediate Needs
With all of the tech service companies available, many owners feel that when push comes to shove, they can rely on outsourcing. While outsourcing has its benefits, the important factor is planning. It's crucial to create a long term plan which will lead to a synchronization of your business and IT plans.
Leaders at Deloitte explain, "IT strategy and planning must no longer be conducted as a separate activity that follows business strategy and planning [...] business and IT strategy have become mutually dependent."
Linda Maclachlan, CEO at YJT Solutions, a leading IT Managed Services provider, agrees. "Outsourcing can be--and should be--a powerful competitive weapon that allows business leaders to focus their limited time and resources on innovation and core business operations. However, knowing what to outsource--and how to outsource--needs to come out of a solid business plan that is always evolving."
4. The Cost Outweighs the Benefit
Finally, the driving force behind most business leaders hesitation to invest in IT is cost. The implementation, recruiting, and time all have costs which overwhelm the person making the final choice.
It's crucial that a business owner thoroughly research these line items. Most will find that with beneficial technologies like automating, ERP, and other services, the value is typically in implementation.
With all of these myths, the concern stems from human behavior and emotion, not IT. The prospect of moving forward with these technologies is daunting; however, the benefits are crucial and rather easy to attain.
A few tips to help overcome the myths:
IT mastery is ready for you.