When it comes to business profits and productivity, having the right technology is critical. Digitally mature companies are three times more likely to report revenue growth above industry averages, and nearly seven in 10 business leaders say technology investments improve productivity.
However, there is a flip side.
While 92% of surveyed executives say they’re satisfied with their company’s technology experience, only 68% of staff feel the same way. Many say their businesses are focusing on how to increase profits without paying enough attention to the employee experience.
The question is: Where does this disconnect come from?
Put simply, it’s not enough to simply adopt new tools. Every addition to your tech stack should be chosen carefully and deliberately, with a lot of attention to details.
In our experience, there are three areas in particular that often cause implementations to fail. While these are far from the only areas to be aware of, they’re a great place to start.
Technology trap #1: Data silos.
We’ve all experienced it. The customer service rep who asks us to repeat the same information yet again. The marketing email promoting a service we have no need for. These kinds of misguided activities cost companies money. And yet they happen all the time, across all kinds of industries.
Often, the problem can be traced back to data silos.
When different teams are using different software to collect customer and client data, the result is often a mishmash of information. Each department works with its own set of information, without a way to cross-reference and see what’s happening across the organization.
Left unaddressed, this issue can lead to a lot of missed opportunities. An astounding eight in ten customers are willing to pay more for a better experience, and many will spend 140% more with a brand when the experience (CX) is truly exceptional.
But without the right data, there’s no way to provide it.
For this reason, it’s important to find technology capable of not only capturing data but also making it actionable across the organization. With a strong data management plan in place, you can prevent teams from turning to their own sets of separate tools—and help ensure the entire company is guided by the same high-quality data. You can achieve this by looking for tools that make it easy to share data across the organization in a single, standardized format.
Read More: Are Data Silos Ruining Your Productivity?
Technology trap #2: Security oversights.
While new technology and digital processes can revolutionize how work gets done, all of that progress can be easily undone if you don’t have the right security protocols in place. After all, a single security breach can cost companies $3.86 million.
For digital transformation initiatives to work, you must first take steps to ensure your sensitive data will remain protected.
Exactly how your organization will do this depends on the types of tools and technology you use, so it’s important to work with your IT department or service provider. At the same time, there are several important security elements that every professional should watch for when considering options.
First, make sure any technology you use will encrypt data at all times, both when it’s at rest and when it’s being transmitted. At a minimum, be on the lookout for industry standards including 256-Bit Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) for encrypting and decrypting email.
Second, select software built to help meet compliance requirements within your industry. If your organization is found noncompliant with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, WCAG or PCI, you could face some serious fines and penalties. Using technology that aligns with your industry provides you with another layer of important protection, and ensures your tools will be updated to reflect new regulations and requirements as they change.
And don’t overlook the importance of strong password protection. While single sign-on (SSO) and multi-factor authentication (MFA) can help prevent unauthorized access, it’s important to first address the much more pressing matter of password strength for those initiatives to work.
Technology trap #3: Unwieldy tech stacks.
If you ever find yourself switching back and forth between browser tabs, you’re far from alone. The typical small business uses 102 different SaaS apps, while enterprise organizations have an average of 288.
But more isn’t better, and in most cases those numbers are an indicator of waste rather than productivity.
As Blissfully’s annual SaaS apps report authors describe it:
“Paid apps add up quickly—and with so many apps available, it’s easier than ever to waste money on duplicate or orphaned apps. That’s especially true if companies grow fast and add SaaS apps without a strategic plan, a set of protocols for app sign-ups, or visibility into overlap between apps."
As a result of adopting too much too fast, many companies end up with technology that rarely or never gets used. One employee unknowingly signs up for an app the company’s already paying for, leading to a duplicate subscription; another forgets to reassign ownership of an app when leaving the company, resulting in an app that no one’s accountable for.
The digitally mature company, on the other hand, knows to regularly audit its tech stack. When examining your apps, make sure each one is being used effectively and eliminate any that don’t serve a valuable purpose.
When in doubt, look for solutions that allow you to increase digital agility by using one set of tools to meet different department needs.
While these aren’t the only technology traps to watch for, they’re three of the most important. By building your tech stack methodically and auditing it regularly, you can ensure your business will be positioned to maintain both productivity and profits for many years to come.
Ready to make changes, but not sure where to start? Take our digital maturity quiz to get a solid understanding of where things stand at your organization today—and what you can do to start moving forward in the right direction.