How to Make Technology Buying & Investment More Effective

Posted by ET Group on July 9, 2024


How to Make Technology Buying & Investment More Effective

The technology your organization uses must support your business strategy and the needs of your team, but that’s not all—it should also fit within your budget and integrate seamlessly with your existing IT stack. That can be daunting, so it’s critical to have a plan in place to guide your investment decisions.

Below, we lay out our key considerations for investing in workplace technology so that you can use them to your advantage. This process helps us work with organizations of all kinds to create effective custom hybrid solutions that support their teams and meet their organizational needs—use it to start your planning and feel free to reach out to us for expert support.

Technology Buying 101: Put People First

Making sure the technology in your workplace aligns with the actual needs of your employees is more difficult than you might think.

Companies often invest in advanced technologies with the expectation that they will improve efficiency and productivity. But without a thorough understanding of the real needs of end-users, these investments can lead to frustration and abandonment.

Leadership for organization meeting to identify business priorities and review policies

Problem Identification

To avoid this issue, the first step of your technology buying process should be to identify potential communication gaps between leadership directives and IT execution.

Review your organization’s policies thoroughly before making any decisions about your technology investments. Then, request feedback from your team about their daily routines—including what tools or processes they rely most heavily on and where they feel gaps or inconsistencies exist.

During this process, it’s also possible that you may realize your ways of working  need to change in order to accommodate a hybrid or distributed work model.. Learn more about how to structure effective policy for hybrid environments in this article: How to Create a Hybrid Work Policy for Your Office.

Technology consultant helping leadership team for organization find insights for technology buying strategy

Human-Centered Consulting

Sorting through this information to find actionable insights can be time consuming, and mistakes can be costly. To make sure you understand your stakeholders and their priorities, you may want to consider working with an expert who can help you gain a clearer picture of your needs and their potential solutions.

This is the approach we take with our partner organizations at ET Group when creating their custom audio-visual solutions. We can help you develop stakeholder maps, conduct interviews, and review your documentation to make sure your investment strategy focuses on the real challenges your team faces. Learn more here: How Audio Visual Consulting Provides Key Support for Hybrid Environments.

Building a Data-Validated Investment Strategy

A human-centric philosophy will help guide your intentions when buying new technology, but you also need to perform careful research on the specific solutions you choose.

Building a clear picture of your available options and comparing them in the context of your business strategy makes procurement and integration a much smoother process.

Employees at technology workshop

Technology Workshops

Once you’ve reviewed your organizational strategy and compared it with information about how your team approaches work, you can begin a conversation that invites employees to participate in the decision-making process.

It’s vital for this to be a two-way street. Conversation between leadership and the people who actually use your technology on a daily basis helps clarify their workflows and pain points so your tech investments can efficiently address them.

One effective method to ensure your technology investments are aligned with business needs is through “art of the possible” workshops. These workshops bring together all key stakeholders, including employees, to explore potential technology solutions and envision how they can be applied to improve business processes.

This approach not only fosters a sense of ownership among employees but also leads to higher adoption rates and better utilization of any new hardware or software you purchase.

Employees testing video conferencing system on call with remote team member to try potential new technology

Prototyping & Testing

Prototyping and testing are also critical steps before making significant investments. Creating prototypes lets you test and validate the effectiveness of potential new technologies in a controlled environment.

This iterative process helps identify potential issues and gives you time to make necessary adjustments before the final implementation. You can then gather feedback from your team, revisit your original goals, and refine your approach to make sure you’re still moving in the right direction.

Investing Confidently & Moving Forward

Once you’ve followed this process, you can move forward with procuring and integrating your new technology. But remember: doing the appropriate fact-finding and ensuring alignment within your organization has to come first.

Start by clarifying your needs and consulting with experts who can present appropriate options for meeting them. Then, follow up by inviting your team to the table. Give them the freedom to share their opinions, and provide comprehensive training so they can see how potential new investments will help solve their pain points. Then move forward with prototyping, testing, and design.

You don’t need to go through this process alone, either—ET Group can help. Book a discovery meeting with us to learn more about how we can consult with you to clarify your needs, guide your conversations with employees, and create a custom hybrid technology solution that works for your organization.

Frequently Asked Questions about Technology Buying for Hybrid Environments

What kind of technology is most important for a hybrid workplace?

There are many different products and systems that hybrid environments rely on, but some of the most vital are:

What if my organization’s leadership isn’t aligned in our direction?

Your leadership team needs to find consensus on your goals before you can begin the process of gathering employee feedback and researching available tech solutions. This is essential for avoiding mixed messaging and misallocating resources.

We’ve written extensively about this elsewhere. Learn more here: Why Your Leadership Team Must be Aligned on Your Workplace Strategy

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