(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. They were recently named a Great Place to Work in separate competitions in Asia, Canada, India, and the U.K. Congrats to them and enjoy the article!)
Mr. Bartender and I have an Amazon Alexa in our home. One of the things we love about the device is its compatibility. We can connect lightbulbs, security cameras, etc. to the device for maximum efficiency. We can get those little “dot” devices and play music around the house. You get the point. The system is very compatible with other stuff in our lives.
I couldn’t help but be reminded about the importance of compatibility when I saw this Time Well Spent cartoon from our friends at Kronos. It’s important to align our technology devices and systems to get the most out of them.
The good news is … that doesn’t mean we have to purchase all of our tech from one source. Technology providers are working together, creating strategic partnerships, and using the Internet of Things (IoT) to benefit users.
When making purchasing decisions about technology, ask about compatibility. Don’t assume that devices are compatible, they might not be. The reverse is equally true. Don’t assume that the devices won’t be compatible, it’s possible they could be. Get good information by asking questions and doing your homework. Vendors are accustomed to answering these types of questions and, if they don’t know the answer, they’ll help you get one.
Stay current with new technology developments. Speaking of doing your homework, technology is changing all the time, which means compatibility is changing as well. Devices that couldn’t speak to each other last year, might be able to now. Find ways to stay up-to-date on software updates by subscribing to technology blogs, electronic newsletters, etc. so you know what’s coming and can take full advantage of updates.
Regularly evaluate the return on investment. One of the things that I’ve learned with my own personal technology is there are times when I realize how much I’ve invested in an ecosystem. Using my Alexa as an example, if I have a bunch of compatible add-ons, I might be reluctant to buy a Google Home or Apple HomePod because I’d have to start over. It’s important to evaluate future technology investments with this in mind.
One of the advantages technology can bring us is alignment with our other devices. Whether it’s on a personal level or our organization’s technology systems. But it takes coordination. Doing our homework on the front end eliminates surprises during implementation. Staying current allows us to take advantage of updates. And constantly monitoring our investment keeps the company effective and efficient. Which is why we’re using technology in the first place!13