‘Adapt or Die’ always seemed a somewhat dramatic statement, particularly considering that it is credited to relate to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution within which he says it is not the strongest nor the most intelligent but those who most adapt to change that will survive.
My initial training was in the area of finance, at a time when one good comptometer operator could replace twelve to fifteen employees over the weekend and yet you could wait for up to two years for a new telephone line.
My greatest joy has been the improved quality and level of services in any contact with Government services, including Revenue.
So, what does this mean for the average business in the SME Sector? There has always been a clarion call to embrace new technology and improve efficiencies or rest in the sure knowledge that your business will close the day you leave rather than be passed on as a valuable asset to another generation or a willing buyer.
If you want to stay in business the phrase ‘adapt or die’ is relevant to your technology. However, don’t insist on making all your own mistakes. Whether it is an office printer, a finance system or a total overhaul of your operations you must proceed with caution. Most Business Owners can get over the shock that taking on a new employee is the equivalent to half a million investment but fail to accept or appreciate that the choice of technology applied or deferred can impact the business to a value of millions.
Too many Business Owners progress with technology changes on the basis of advice from a friend or colleague or a helpful supplier without completing the necessary due diligence as to what will be the most appropriate solution. Take the best advice on what technology will best serve you for the next three, five or even ten years, before you invest. An external specialist is a necessary investment to minimise costly mistakes and accelerate the optimal technology development route for your business.
When considering a significant investment in technology upgrade or development remember the old adage ‘If you think that good advice is expensive, first consider the alternative.’ Take the best advice and progress with authority.
And the ‘so what’ moment, the call to action?
Plan for an annual review of your current and planned use of technology in your business, preferably using the services of an external advisor that has significantly better knowledge and understanding of the area than is available in-house. Take on board the advice and you really will be in a position to ‘progress with authority’.