New year, new tech? Make sure implementation is at the top of your resolution list

Ruth Whyte

Ruth Whyte

Business Advisory Supervisor

While individuals mark the new year with resolutions, many businesses will be using the onset of 2024 to consider how best they can improve their operations. As digitisation plays an increasingly important role across all sectors, upgrading and adopting new systems is likely to be high on their wish list.

Embedded AI (AI that operates in the background without the user realising) is ever growing and robotics are on the rise. Other businesses are anticipating upcoming changes to legislation by utilising cloud software to future proof their business.

Businesses often focus on finding the right solution and underestimate the importance of the implementation of these new technologies. To achieve a successful outcome, it is not only crucial to select the appropriate systems but also to make sure the correct processes are in place and people know how to use them.

If businesses don’t take these steps, they run the risk of being no further forward no matter how much they invest and they could do even more harm than good, prompting increased maintenance costs, reduced productivity, higher risk of data breaches, costly system downtime and unforeseen expenses in system replacement and employee training. 

Other serious repercussions could include loss of employee morale, reduced service standards, missed market opportunities, compliance issues and reputational damage.

At Johnston Carmichael we recommend a three-stage approach to managing the introduction of new systems. Firstly, we review the needs of our client’s business; next we help them select the right software solution; and then we support its implementation.

As part of the review process, we work with clients to understand existing systems, looking at how they are used and speaking to key staff to understand their challenges. After identifying weaknesses such as non-value add manual processes, duplication of effort, or potential for error, we redesign the process to be as streamlined as possible, ensuring stakeholders can access the information they require to monitor and manage business performance.

Once we have a thorough understanding of the business needs, we develop a statement of requirements, using a defined framework – Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have – to prioritise features. This is followed by a discovery process in which we review and compare different systems, before recommending a few suitable replacements - saving our clients valuable time.

After a preferred supplier has been chosen, we help our clients to embed the system, providing technical expertise and resource if required, and engaging with teams to communicate its benefits. Users need to fully understand how the system works and how to put in what they need to get out. If data isn’t entered correctly then the information provided won’t be accurate, preventing businesses from achieving their strategic goals.

The digital age offers a host of opportunities to businesses that embrace the latest technology. Taking a holistic approach to incorporating new systems will ensure they are the success businesses want and need.

For any further information or advice on the above, please get in tough with myself or a member of the Business Advisory team. 

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