The winds of change are a given in sailing. A good sailor adjusts their sails, tacks and jibes to change directions or sometimes even drops sail in order to get where they want to go. It’s the same with technology in business—technology is constantly changing. Every day, new competitors are disrupting industries by leveraging new technologies and processes.

In order to reach your desired destination, you must choose a course and set sail. In sailing, you first put up your sails. Most sailboats have at least two sails—a mainsail and a foresail—which interact together. When set properly, together they produce more force to pull the boat than the sum of their forces if they were each alone. So, the selection and trim of the sails is critical. Similarly, your selection of technology can either work together with your people to pull your business forward or it may even slow you down or put your business at risk.

When making technology decisions, it’s important to determine the value it is going to deliver to the organization. The value could be a basic employee productivity increase, the ability to deliver a higher quality service or ensuring the security and integrity of your corporate information. In short, the new technology should solve a problem that you are experiencing or prevent a problem from occurring.

Today’s technology is more modular, and as a result, can be more flexible. For example, many business applications are now available as smartphone apps whether it is your basic email and word processing such as Outlook and Word or your line-of-business software that has all your client information from cradle-to-grave. At IT Radix, our line-of-business applications integrate together to allow us to access not only basic contact information, but more detailed information such as service agreements stored in SharePoint, specific technology configuration data about network devices, billing information and much more. While our line-of-business application is geared to those in the information technology industry, it is flexible enough to connect with different providers for specific components that we use and support. You want to avoid locked-in situations where a single vendor has control over ALL your interactions. Look instead for technologies that easily integrate and work together.

When it’s time to make a technology change, it’s important to engage your team to ensure success.

When sailing, especially on the large racing boats, the entire crew gets involved in trimming lines, changing sails, and more. In your organization, be sure to ask your team what things they like and dislike about the current technology and systems, what would make their job easier or more effective and when changing the technology, give them access to training and an opportunity to input on future technology choices.

Just like in sailing, it’s important to plot your technology journey before you start. Many of our clients are migrating to Windows 10 and Office 365, and we partner with them to develop a course to get them there. Often, it starts with end-user machines but quickly evolves to email, file sharing, collaboration and more. Sometimes, course corrections are required along the way. Having a strong, knowledgeable partner that shares similar business values can help ease your voyage and sail your business on to success.

Contact IT Radix here to ensure smooth IT sailing ahead!

First published in our July 2019 IT Radix Resource newsletter