5 factors to consider when purchasing business tech
With multiple companies offering similar tech solutions and services, choosing the right one can be a daunting task. Worry not! These pointers will help you identify critical differentiators to determine which provider, product and/or solution is the best for your business.
Purchasing business tech can be a minefield, and there’s often a nagging doubt after you sign the purchase order. We like to keep things simple and these 5 check points should minimise the risk.
1. Business Value
At this time of uncertainty and change, there is increasing pressure on IT professionals to justify IT spending, especially when the IT department doesn’t inherently bring in money. To some, your department can look like an expense, and it can be hard to get people to understand that without new and/or improved tech, it would be more challenging, if not impossible, for the business to function efficiently and drive those revenues.
So when chasing technology, make sure it’s a good fit for the business’s needs and that the wider company will be able to understand why. When evaluating business value, consider and share the following factors:
- Cost-saving opportunities
- Innovation capabilities
- Operational efficiency
- Project delivery timeframe
2. Implementation; ease, flexibility and compatibility
Consider how well your new technology will integrate with your current setup. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Will you need an implementation team?
- Is it easy to teach and learn?
- How long will it take to become fully operational?
- Can the implementation meet your deadline?
- Will it work with your current infrastructure?
Technologies don’t just need to work together; they also need to work with your human workforce. Anything new should be easy to adopt amongst your employees and ensure optimal efficiency. The quicker you can get your team trained and learn the ropes, the more time they can save and return to their daily tasks.
Implementing technology can be arduous, so it’s critical to go in with your eyes wide open, and there’s no shame in needing external help.
Pricing is an integral factor in any business decision. Nine times out of 10, whether rightly or wrongly, cost will be the primary decision-making factor. Setting a realistic budget when looking into technologies is crucial, considering factors such as current costs, potential ROI and an estimated payback period.
We recommend beginning with a ballpark budget and deciding your ‘must-have’ features within your price point. After this, you can determine what features will be ideal to add and which you do not need. Using this guide will help you better understand the value of your purchase decision.
4. Total cost of ownership (TCO)
Your TCO will assess the long-term value of the purchase to your business. It’s critical to your final Return On Investment (ROI) calculation. Knowing the direct and indirect costs resulting from purchase will help you determine a realistic ROI over the lifetime of the solution or product. While your monthly cost, for example, might be £150/month, you may have additional expenses such as training, support, maintenance and upgrades.
Calculating TCO isn’t always monetary. For example, implementing the new technology may result in system errors or downtime, further resulting in a productivity loss.
5. Management and support
Refrain from assuming that the project is over once the tech is implemented – now is the time to think about how you will manage and maintain it. You’re good to go if your business already has the skillset and time to dedicate to this project. But in other cases, having a limited IT team or needing more dedicated time to facilitate this project will set you back. Consider outsourcing your IT purchasing to a company that has the experience, management skills and buying power to run this for you.
This will also link back to your costs; if you require an external source to run this project, will this align with your budget or exceed your initial expected spend? As well as the purchase cost, you will need to factor in the price of additional services.
There are many vital considerations when purchasing business tech, but our research and knowledge find these are the most critical factors. If you’re looking for advice or more information, get in touch today. Alternatively, you can reach us at +44 (0)207 605 7890 or at email@example.com.