A business may migrate to the cloud or change the applications it uses (if it is already using a cloud-based system) due to a desire to streamline solutions, improve internal efficiency, and reduce costs. by leveraging automation appropriately.
Typically, this effort is led by one or more key people, but the long-term success of these technological changes is not guaranteed.
It is not enough to just implement a solution, invite a certain number of users and hope that it will work as intended, as this can result in projects being abandoned altogether.
To prevent this from happening, proper research and effective implementation are essential. To maximize your chances of successfully introducing new technologies into your organization, be sure to follow these simple steps:
1. Get demos from professionals
Don’t just rely on online videos and try to figure it all out on your own. Chances are you will learn a lot more by talking to representatives of the tech vendor itself – so sign up for a proper demo where they can walk you through the end-to-end functionality of the solutions and answer all your questions. Questions.
2. Ask as many questions as possible
Ask whatever questions you have about the solution, even if you think you know the answer – it’s always best to be sure. It may be a good idea to think about potential questions before your demo call to make sure you don’t miss a thing.
3. Use free trial periods
Most tech solutions have a free trial period, and even if you don’t, ask for one. When you sign up for the free trial, make sure you do so at a time when you will actually be using the product. For example, don’t sign up for Christmas or when you’re on vacation. Give the solution an appropriate amount of time and attention so that you can really get used to it; this is essential in determining whether it is right for your business.
4. Get feedback from your peers
One of the great things about the accounting profession today is that practice owners are much more collaborative than ever. Before committing, why not ask your account manager to direct you to other users who might be willing to share how they have implemented the software and their user journey so far?
Also try to check out user groups on social media for the provider. Most software companies have active communities, and you will be able to gauge the responsiveness of the team and how they deal with their existing customers.
5. Buy the right subscription levels
Most technology solutions have several different subscription options depending on the level of functionality they offer. However, most people also want to save on costs. If there’s a subscription level that best suits your needs but isn’t necessarily the cheapest option, it’s probably still the best for you. Remember, if implemented correctly, you should save money by having better internal processes, becoming more efficient, and automating time-consuming work anyway.
6. Make sure your apps integrate
Automation and efficiency should be your goals, and you should make sure your apps all talk to each other. Gone are the days when you only used one software. Chances are, you have multiple apps in your stack and they should all have some level of integration that, at a minimum, means they share the same customer database.
If you have to repeatedly re-enter the same information in multiple places, not only will you lose the efficiency gains of the cloud, but you will also be at a greater risk of error. In an ideal world, each application could also trigger workflows and processes in other applications.
7. Learn more about Zapier
If there are tools that you want to use but don’t have native integration (i.e., you don’t speak naturally to each other), then Zapier may be your answer. Zapier is great for making different tools work together.
8. Designate one or more internal champion (s)
This person will learn all they can to understand the product inside and out. They will be the go-to person within the company who will not only ensure that the application works, but that it is also being used correctly.
If your team is large enough, I would suggest that you have a different person for each application. Otherwise, someone might be overloaded with their role as resident tech guru.
9. Form your team and take them on the journey
Make sure your team gets the training they need to properly use technology and make sure they understand why it’s important, explaining the many benefits it can offer. Include them in decision-making and implementation processes. Inclusion and education are the two essential pillars to ensure that technology is widely (and correctly) used – so make sure you don’t overlook them.
10. If this is a big change, hire a professional.
If you’re undertaking a complete overhaul of your systems and you don’t have the right technical expertise in-house to keep everything running smoothly, hire an integrator to do the job. There is no point in making mistakes. This will only lead to frustration, delays and increased project costs.
Remember: technology is constantly evolving
Don’t be afraid to try new things. However, balance that with common sense. App overload can end up confusing and annoying your coworkers and significantly hampering their productivity, so don’t just fall for every brilliant new solution that lands in the app market.
When adopting a new product, make sure that there is always a well-defined exit plan for the technology you already use (for example, how to export features and take backups). If you ever get too big for something or realize it’s just not for you, don’t hang on to it for too long – it will just cost you more in the long run.
Apps that leverage the cloud, integrate with others, and transform your internal efficiency are a winning combination. Fortunately, Practice Ignition does all of this and more. Start a 14 day free trial if you are looking to make better use of Practice Ignition in your business.