Technology isn’t always the silver bullet many people make it out to be.
That might sound a bit odd, especially coming from a firm that helps companies evaluate, select and deploy tech resources. But it’s important to put technology in the proper perspective.
Your business has a mission, with many different moving parts working in concert to realize that mission. Technology is simply a tool that can help those parts work more effectively and efficiently.
All too often, however, companies take a do-it-yourself approach to technology, either because they’re concerned about the cost or believe they already know what they need. This frequently results in “tools” that don’t do anything to further the company’s mission, or worse, actually hinder it.
To get the most out of your technology, it needs to fit into your organization — and your budget — perfectly. It needs to accomplish specific objectives. It needs to mesh with the systems, processes and people already in place.
Achieving all of those things is a tall order. And at Hyde Group, it’s our specialty.
We don’t start with solutions in mind and look for ways to make them fit. We first learn about your business, your needs and your current environment — gaining your trust as an unbiased advisor. Then, and only then, will we begin putting together your technology plan and recommending specific resources.
Considering an external technology consultant? Here’s what you should look for:
- Proven expertise. Find a technology consulting partner who has helped companies overcome the specific challenges you are facing. An effective partner will function as a bridge between your company and providers, clarifying your needs assessments and doing the strategic legwork to ensure you don’t buy a solution that is a bad fit. The best partners have spent years building solid relationships with a wide range of technology providers and executives — and they use those connections to benefit their clients.
- Strategic process. Your consultant’s process should start with a baseline assessment to get a precise overview of your current assets. This understanding of vendor relationships, contracts, costs, technology limitations and workload impact will create a solid foundation that enables informed decision-making. Other steps include stakeholder review, RFP development, solution sourcing, vetting/negotiation and finally, implementation. And because ongoing support is vital to any technology purchase, make sure your consultant will partner with you long-term.
- Provider/technology objectivity. Technology consultants should be both product- and provider-agnostic — meaning they help find the right provider for your requirements, instead of going into the project with one already in mind. The right consultant will never recommend a solution provider for any reason other than believing it’s the best fit for your company and a true match for your technology requirements.
- Aligned integrity. There are many ways consultants can work with clients, including agreements under scope, project-based work and/or a broker model. But the most important thing about your technology consultant is that they operate ethically, professionally and transparently — no matter how you choose to work with them.
- Full advocacy. Your consultant should be more than a trusted advisor. Choose one who takes on a fiduciary responsibility — that is, a responsibility to always act in your best interests. As a client, you should reap the benefits of deep provider relationships, executive visibility, road-mapping creative solutions, streamlined contract negotiations and high service orientation.
We’ll say it again: Technology isn’t a silver bullet. However, it can be the difference between a growing, thriving business and one that is mired in the trap of limitless choices and indecision — a trap that leads to stagnation. That’s why it’s so important to have an objective resource on your side who truly understands the space; someone to provide expertise, advice and advocacy.
At Hyde Group, our mission is helping every client avoid that trap, so they can focus on achieving their mission. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can make your business stronger.