The Computing Technology Industry Association recently reported that 80 percent of organizations have been “negatively affected by failures to keep up with technology.”

Considering that some tech experts suggest the next seven years hold as much technological change as the entire 20th century combined, companies need to put genuine effort into staying updated.

This is not as daunting as it seems. It requires establishing strategic mechanisms to monitor and integrate new technology, as part of regular operations.

BLINDERS & BUSINESS AS USUAL

It’s tempting for business owners to try and rationalize their current systems when they hear about a new technology. Small business owners usually have a lot on their plates and have worked hard to develop ways to operate efficiently, based on tools they know and have come to trust.

I’ve known too many small businesses for which technology simply meant having a few computers that linked together, a phone system, and maybe a few devices. The owner’s ability and desire to keep up on trends and changes was almost non-existent.

YOU ARE THE TARGET MARKET FOR THESE NEW TOOLS

In reality, computer programmers, software, and technology developers are working on tools to improve business productivity. Improving the basic functions of every office – such as file sharing, project management, inventory monitoring and communication – is a very large market for them.

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Innovation is occurring so rapidly that it directly impacts our ability to work and to do business.

You could be finding ways to cut costs and speed up operation. If you’re not, rest assured a competitor out there will be. Technology is an external factor that could slingshot your business into growth and to prominence in your industry – if you’re paying attention.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Designate players on your team to stay on top of tech upgrades that are relevant to your business. Look inwards, and assign people to analyze different functions. Where are the gaps in businesses communication or delivery? Which processes take the most time and money?

Stepping back and taking the time to think about these concepts can seem to be a low priority. Once a business is up, running, and making money, the owner’s life can start to feel like a hamster wheel, propelled forward by dizzying, repetitive force. But failing to stay up-to-date means missing out on opportunities. Your business may be passed up for key opportunities, not because the competitor has better people or a better product, but because they deliver more quickly and efficiently.

Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your business’s technology. In today’s rapidly innovating world, there will be updates that you simply cannot afford to miss.