We all are aware that technology waits for no one.  It keeps moving at a fast rate of advancement.  What was incredibly powerful and fast years ago seems to operate at a really slow speed today.  The famous example of the computers that managed the 1969 rocket launch to the moon being 1/100 of the computing power in an average “smart phone” today is a good example of the rate of technology’s advances.

Realizing that technology is consistently advancing so quickly like a rocket, how do we plan for improvements and upgrades?

Find what you are interested in, and envision what “rocket” could be in a optimized situation.

After over two decades of observing and participating in the technology marketplace, we’ve found that there is a distinct benefit for paying attention to what is going on.  It’s important to understand what will directly affect our business.  It’s also important to research what could benefit our business – now and in the future.

We’ve also found that a great strategy is to envision what would be the best environment with the best tools.  When you consider what you want technology to provide for your business and then “work backwards” to find those solutions and resources, you will find that the solution you seek is generally a whole lot closer to you than you had imagined.  Certainly there are resources that need to be developed that you can’t have at this time.  Nevertheless, it is highly likely that someone is developing them for the marketplace.  Don’t give up asking and don’t give up looking for that rocket technology that will be best for your business.

Learn more about what you want to know so you can be involved when the time is right.

Not only it is important to seek out what you need for your business, it is also important to understand the technology you need.  Many people have made the mistake of picking a solution that wasn’t the best solution.  The usual cause of the mistake was a lack of understanding caused by a lack of information.  This mistake is avoidable by a combination of two factors: 1) know what you need to know; and, 2) know those who can answer your questions when you need to know.

Having a great team of advisors around you will help prevent the mistake of using the wrong solution.

Having a great team of advisors around you will help prevent the mistake of using the wrong solution.  Great advisors have no problem sharing the best information.  Additionally, great advisors know the right answers because they have taken the risk themselves to use the resources they recommend.  Advisors that recommend products and services that they don’t use for their organization’s benefit should be avoided.   The reason is simple: they have no “skin in the game” and assume no risk by recommending a solution.  Many organizations get themselves into a bad situation when an “advisor” is simply trying to make a sale.

Instead, learn more about the rocket technology you need and find the experts in that area who have extensive experience using that technology.  Ask them what they have learned and what technology they have used.  Once you start finding potential resources, start testing them to see how reliable and consistent they are with what you have read and heard from experts.  You will quickly see patterns and confirmations that will show you when you can and should continue with the process.

Figure out the right pace and level of commitment before “going all-in.”

Everyone has a certain level of comfort and confidence in reaction to different areas of technology.  For some people, they like to be on the “bleeding edge”, instead of the “cutting edge”, when it comes to implementing a new technology in their organization.  The term of “bleeding” implies that these people are willing to be “hurt” by trying something new and untested.  Others are comfortable with being behind a little bit in adopting a new technology.  It’s because they want confirmation that it is all that it promises to be.  For others, they’re fine with being a “laggard”.  They will wait until most of the market is using a particular technology.

Regardless of whatever approach you adopt, you need to figure out when you want to use a particular technology and what consequences could happen when you adopt it.  Will it cause other technologies to malfunction?  Does the technology cause everything to run more efficiently?  Will it cause an overall upgrade, which could shut down major systems?  Can it run seamlessly and cause no problems?

Every time you push that “upgrade” button – whether it is a simple software update or a major platform replacement, or anything in between – always calculate the effects before you proceed.  Not every upgrade or replacement is necessary.  Instead, consider how much it will cost you and your business, not only in cash, but in time spent and attention needed.

One Last Word . . .

Technology can be a great rocket catalyst for a business to make major improvements as it serves its clients and the marketplace.  Maintaining a balanced approach by intentionally managing the implementation of new rocket technology can create great results.

Don’t be afraid to make positive changes, but don’t be too eager to make changes just because changes can look “cool.”  Instead, know what you want, know what you need, and then know what results you can expect as you make improvements in your technology world.