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Why the Race for Tech Advancement Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint For the great majority of businesses, the switch to digital is a work in progress. Getting it right it far more important than getting it sooner.

By Asha Saxena

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The path to entrepreneurial success often feels more like a sprint than a steady jog. You race to get your product in front of users and bring on the latest tech options in hopes of leaving your competitors in the dust.

In fact, 78 percent of organizations report that achieving digital transformation is high on their priority list for the next two years. But with so much pressure to stay ahead of the pack and adopt the flashiest new tech, you can lose sight of the reason you use tech: to boost efficiency and reduce costs.

Rolling out new changes before your team has a chance to adapt can actually frustrate employees, hamper productivity and hurt your bottom line. By introducing new tech too often, you also risk confusing customers, and that will prevent users from establishing a stable relationship with your brand.

To reap the rewards of a new tech option, your team has to fully understand it and embrace it. To make each tech investment worthwhile, you need to take a steadier, more sustainable approach to tech advancement in your organization. Here's how you can get started:

1. Tie every change back to your strategy.

Don't simply add new tech for the sake of changing. Every new option should be evaluated against your company's short-term and long-term goals. If your goal is to boost sales, for example, investing money in new HR tech might not be the best move.

Related: 6 Strategies for Managing a Fast Growing Company

2. Make small improvements rather than rapid advancements.

To avoid abrupt changes that throw your entire team into disarray, test each new technology with a small group of users. You can observe how employees handle the new tech and how it fits in with your overall strategy. And, whenever possible, upgrade your existing tech platforms instead of swapping them out entirely.

3. Set up a tech advancement committee.

Establish a standing committee for tech changes so you can monitor how technology is affecting your business and your team. An evaluative committee can research new options, predict how they could improve the company and make suggestions for which new systems to adopt.

4. Focus on adoption.

Your team members are the driving force behind your company. If they aren't on board with new tech, you won't see the intended benefits of the change. But adopting new tech is often hard, especially when employees get stuck in their habits. To ease the process, don't make big changes more often than every six months. That gives employees ample time to adapt. Working closely with your staff is the only way to guarantee they're on board.

Related: 10 Types of People Who Will Help Your Business Succeed

5. Communicate each new option clearly.

Beyond showing how the tech operates, you also need to explain its potential benefits and risks. Every employee should be able to answer questions such as, "How will this make me better at my job?" and "How will this help us achieve our five-year or 10-year goals?" Devote a monthly team meeting to communicating this information so no one gets left behind.

6. Incentivize tech adoption and performance.

By focusing your rewards system on tech advancement, you can incentivize your team to seize opportunities provided by the new tech. Reward employees who adapt quickly, and go the extra mile to find new ways to improve their performance with tech. You should consider creating some training courses for the new tech options, and reward good "grades" with bonuses.

Of course, you shouldn't discount tech that could vastly improve productivity for fear of overwhelming your employees. But by replacing needless changes with a steadier rhythm of upgrades and rallying your team around new options, you can gain a competitive advantage and enjoy a new level of efficiency. Slowing down might feel strange at first, but conserving your energy will be a smarter strategy in the long run.

Related: 10 Habits You Should Ditch Now to Bring Productivity to an All-Time High

Asha Saxena

President and CEO of Aculyst Inc

Asha Saxena is Columbia University Professor and founder of Aculyst Inc. a healthcare big data solutions and advanced analytics services firm

 

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