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What Every Entrepreneur Should Know Before Adopting New Tech Shiny new objects are fun, but business owners need to be smart about the technology they use.
Technology is something business owners should always be thinking about. When it comes time to upgrade or update your tech, make sure you take the right steps to select and implement your new solutions properly.
New tools are a big undertaking, especially for small businesses, but investing in technology that works for you can move your company forward. Here's what every business owner should know before adopting new tech.
Customization is key.
When you need to add new technology to your business, take time to find the right fit and customize tools to your specifications. Do market research to learn about the solutions your competitors are using and take an audit of your business to assess what you need and how much you can afford to budget for new technology.
"Businesses are not just shopping for price but also shopping for functionality and growth," says Sasha Gorman, Vice President of Product Development at Sprint Business. Be cost conscious, but be willing to invest in solutions that will work over time, he says. Since small businesses typically hold onto a new technology for about 30 months, think ahead about where you want your business to be in two to three years.
With pressure from larger companies, entrepreneurs should think about ways to customize new technology in order to give their businesses an edge. "When it comes to using new tech like AI, even the largest businesses are just starting to roll these products out at scale," Gorman says. "Using new tech in new ways can give smaller businesses an advantage."
Work with expert providers you trust.
For busy entrepreneurs it's essential to find an external partner who can give you expert advice and exceptional service. "The tough part is that in a small business, the business owner is not just the person who sweeps the floors and brings in the mail, but is also the IT department," Gorman says.
This provider should understand your industry and your needs. Sometimes, you may not know what to ask for, but a technology expert can often suggest solutions you may not have even considered.
"Entrepreneurs need to think about whether they're going to get the solution they need from a partner that understands their business, not just a widget that's given to every business and expected to work," he says. It's important to partner with someone who can install your new tools, train your staff and be available for follow up questions and support.
"At Sprint, we have hung our hat on the satisfaction of our customers and the kind of support we provide them," Gorman says.
Don't overlook security.
As you integrate new technology into your business, understand the security risks. For small- and mid-size companies that may be using mobile phones in their operations for the first time, the threats have increased dramatically, Gorman says.
With employees in the field or on the floor using phones and tablets, pay attention to securing those endpoints. "Think about the number of apps on a phone versus apps on a computer," Gorman says. "All of them represent risk."
Sprint is pushing to be at the front of AI solutions for mobile security, he says. By using AI to identify the important threats and push the rest aside, you can now manage your virtual security without the need for an IT department to constantly scan error logs for potential risks.
To learn more about how Sprint Business can help your company grow, click here.