SmartCompany blogger and founder of Melbourne-based IT services company Combo, David Markus reveals how to select the right technologies for your business.
The solution to this dilemma lies in research. I recently sought an application for my iPhone to view my modest share portfolio. It is not a big portfolio, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money on the research. I looked for the best free application and found Bloomberg was highly recommended. It turned out to be a good tool, but did not keep a tally of my holding – just a list of the companies that showed current price and change. So I had to look further and pay just over $8.00 for a tool that met my purposes. The time that went into this research was over an hour.
When I wanted a more common app like weather, I just asked one of my techs in my office and two minutes later had the solution downloaded for under $3.00.
The moral of the story is that you can put more time into your research than the solution costs, and even then end up with the wrong product based on that research, and be forced to try again. When we are talking business apps, rather than iPhone apps, this is an expensive proposition.
Clearly we need to go back a step and look at the strategic approach.
First, figure out what business functions you want to improve productivity in. Questions here to consider are:
- Where will you get the quickest financial gains in your business?
- Can you group a few of these gains together and solve them with one piece of software or one set of infrastructure?
- Will the cost of developing the solution be returned in a reasonable time frame?
- Are there better technologies that will solve a broader range of problems?
- How will the solution integrate with other aspects of the business such as sales, marketing, production and finance?
To read more of David Markus’ blogs click here.