“Neat” does not equal necessary.
It’s difficult to watch television, online videos, or scroll any social media pages without being bombarded by advertisements for the latest techno-gadgets, apps, and digital services. Advertisers want you to feel as though the device in your pocket is akin to a dinosaur bone and that if you can’t order takeout via voice command, that you forgo a coveted “early adopter” status. The same sales pitch is true for business technologies. Unlike a new app that may, at worst, take up space on your phone or take your beer money for that weekend, hastily adopting business technologies can waste time, money, and even compromise the cybersecurity of your organization.
5 Questions to Ask Before Pulling the Trigger
To help you make better technology selection decisions, we’ve put together five simple questions to ask yourself before pulling the trigger on a flashy new tool.
1. What problem is this fixing?
That advertisement for the two-in-one radio/toaster seemed pretty useful during that 1 AM Amazon scroll session. Still, once it shows up on your doorstep, you may find yourself saying, “How to simultaneously make toast while listening to the radio was not a problem I actually had.” The same can go for business technologies that don’t seem to fix a problem. Before pulling the trigger, ask yourself, “What problem is this service fixing?” Though the features of this device or service may seem pretty impressive, if they’re not actually fixing a problem, they may be one long walk to the money drain.
2. Is this a genuine or manufactured problem?
What is perceived as a problem for some is simply a lack of something for someone else—possibly something they may not have realized was unnecessary. This begs us to ask—is this supposed problem genuine or manufactured? If the service allows employees to customize and control 3D, animated avatars during teleconferences, you may want to consider if this was something you lacked beforehand.
3. Can I get away without having this?
So, you’ve noticed that the proposed device or service does a better job of the version you or your team currently use. Fair enough. Still, does this upgrade justify adopting, purchasing, and learning how to use this new way? A better way to ask this question is, “Can I get away without having this?” In the case of some business technologies — like pretty much any mobile device released in the past year — the answer may be “yep.”
4. How much maintenance will this new "solution" cost me?
Every new item requires upkeep. A new shirt requires cleaning and closet space. A new power tool requires electricity and replaceable attachments. While these are manageable, any new device or application that connects to an existing system will require cybersecurity protections to keep it from become a conduit for cyber threats. While new technological gadgetry can be alluring and fun, before fully adopting it, recognize and plan for its proper maintenance in relation to the cybersecurity needs of your organization and personal files.
5. Where does this new thing fit in my existing world?
If you've ever seen the show "Hoarders," you've likely seen what can happen when people fail to plan for the space that new items take up in their lives. Such disorder is not only unsightly but can also be dangerous for those that live in such treacherous domestic conditions. Though that is an extreme example, the excess of items, gadgets, software programs, and systems without the proper planning for where they belong can too be dangerous—posing cybersecurity risks not before considered. When a new device or system is implemented, it should ideally replace another system. Not only does this simplify processes for company users, but it also reduces access points for potential cybersecurity threats to access sensitive information. Before you bring in something new, decide what it will be replacing and make sure that it replaces the said system or device.
The Benefits of Not Taking the Bait
Avoiding a Bad Investment
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t only apply to cars, lawnmowers, cookware, and mobile devices, but also many business systems. New software systems are likely expensive — either in the amount of time it takes for them to be properly installed, the time it takes your team to feel comfortable using them, the sticker price, or all three. Impulsively adopting a new technology that you may regret can set you back both in your wallet as well as your calendar.
Avoiding a Cybersecurity Incident
While you may see this new piece of business technology as another tool in your tool belt, tools can be heavy. This tool is likely another access point for cybersecurity threats to sensitive information. The more systems that have access to company data, the higher your business's likelihood of being hacked. In addition to this, newer tools and systems may have more bugs to be remedied.
Run New Tools By Your Managed Network Services Professional
If you’re considering installing a shiny new tool for your business or organization, you’ll definitely want to talk this over with your Managed Network Services professional. Their expertise in business technology will help you to make an educated decision on whether to adopt or forgo this new tool.