(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of quality workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. For the fourth consecutive year, Kronos has been named one of the Best Workplaces for Women according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work. Congrats to them! Enjoy the article.)
You know I’m an Apple fan. So, every time the latest iPhone or iPad comes out, I go through this big internal debate. Should I or shouldn’t I upgrade? I’m sure you do the same when your favorite technology provider comes out with their latest and greatest.
That’s why I couldn’t help but laugh at this Time Well Spent cartoon from our friends at Kronos. Not only because I do remember the days when I wore a pager and had to call in using a pay phone, but because I laugh at myself for the upgrade debate I have every time a new piece of tech comes out. The truth is I should follow the thought process that organizations use when it’s time to consider upgrades.
Will a technology upgrade increase revenue? The first question that organizations ask themselves is “Will this technology bring us more revenue?”. Pure and simple. The technology might allow the company to offer more products and services. Or maybe it would allow customers to purchase more. Maybe it will make the customer experience “easy to buy, easy to use, and easy to share with others”.
Would a technology upgrade decrease expenses? It’s also possible that the new technology would quickly pay for itself and decrease operational expenses. While it might not be an increase in revenue, a decrease in expenses could be large enough to justify the upgrade. Even a small decrease in expenses could also be reinvested back into the customer experience, ultimately resulting in greater customer satisfaction (and hopefully more revenue!)
Can a technology upgrade improve productivity? Sometimes technology doesn’t directly bring extra revenue or less expenses, but it does automate repetitive work. This allows the organization to use headcount in a very productive way on activities that matter to customers and employees. Don’t discount this approach, using technology to make the workforce more productive can create better employee and customer satisfaction (positively impacting the bottom-line).
Does our current technology hold us back? There’s one other question that companies ask themselves when it’s time to upgrade. Maybe the current tech is working just fine, and the employees love it. But if the company’s competitive set is upgrading, then there could come a point where the old technology keeps the organization from moving forward. Customers will come to expect the new technology. If those expectations aren’t met, customers may go elsewhere.
Maybe the next time Apple announces the next new product that everyone must have, I need to step back and use the same process that companies use to decide if it’s time to upgrade their technologies.20