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Posted 5 Oct

How to Tackle Technology Changes in Your Business

In both our personal and working lives, change along with technology is inevitable. But with change comes faster, smarter and more convenient ways of doing everyday tasks. 

Think back to when you started to rely on your mobile more than your home phone. Then, it would turn to grumbling if you didn’t have enough reception to refresh your email app on your smart phone. Now we have Wi-Fi on planes, notifications on our watches, ride sharing apps, online shopping with next day delivery. The list goes on!

We now see ourselves in an age where we have no excuse to allow our work to be compromised for not keeping up with technology. After all, if you don’t actively keep up - your competitor will and from a client acquisition standpoint - that will put you at a disadvantage.

However, with saying that - we understand that change can be scary! It can be time consuming, confusing and frustrating (think back to 2016 census night when the website crashed and couldn’t process people's submissions!).

With hundreds of clients who are at various points of their automation and digitisation journey, we’ve seen it all. So here are our top tips in introducing and implementing technology into your practice.

1. Accept that changes are inevitable

Firstly, it’s important not to fight the fact that change is inevitable. Being open minded and embracing the positive change that technology can offer will help enormously in the success of its implementation. 

It’ll keep your employees happier feeling like they're not wasting time doing mundane tasks that could easily be automated, and overall it’ll help your bottom line. So why fight it?

2. Don't be afraid to ask for a demo and/or trial

Just like there isn’t only one kind of car that suits everyone, even though the main process is to travel from A to B - there are often many choices available that seemingly offer the same thing. That’s why you go for a test drive. Just like test driving a car, it is integral when choosing the right technology to ensure that the features best suit your business, you team members and clients. 

Understanding the features and limitations of the product so you have a clear idea of how it will work into your current ways of doing things is vital. Considering how it will integrate and connect with your current systems & understanding how much time and effort it will take for it to serve its purpose specifically for your needs through utilising this for a few weeks is a crucial step in technology considerations. 

Make sure if you’re trialling it, that it’s the team members who will be using it most that give it a go and have the opportunity to ask questions before you make your final decision.

3. Discuss with your team

Research has shown that people who work in organisations that encourage people to talk and learn about technology, have 20% lower stress levels than those within organisations that don't have these discussions. You can read about this in our blog "why it can actually benefit your business to treat technology like a colleague".

Just like it’s important for the team to be involved with the demo and trial process, it’s important that overall the team is given the opportunity to discuss the use of technology in the business at any time, as they may have some great ideas on how to improve the work they are doing without you even realising that it’s a problem!

4. Identify how it will fit within your existing ecosystem 

You might be wondering what we mean when we say ecosystem and this refers to all the connected parts within a business that makes it successful (employees, clients, resources, vision/mission etc). In our recent blog "The Ecosystem Behind Every Good Business", we look at what these elements are and a big part of that is systems and processes as well as technology and software. 

As accountants ourselves, we’ve carefully considered how our products can positively influence the whole ecosystem. We've ensured that our solutions can be tailored to suit your own client, employee and process needs – not only by having a flexible solution like FuseDocs that’s custom designed to suit your business (book a demo to find out more), but also with our range of integrations with other providers (ie most practice management systems and document management systems).

5. Assign an in-house champion to master the tool and then work with the team for implementation

We’re all increasingly time poor – and we know that if it’s everyone’s responsibility, it’s no ones. It’s important when adopting a new technology system or software to nominate a process improvement champion to lead the research, implementation, and execution of the project. In our experience, it works best if this can be a person who will use the program in some capacity. 

The champion then can become the pathway between your business and the solution provider in that they become your resident in house “expert” when it comes to how YOUR business uses the technology.

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