Question Complexity When Buying Technology

Posted by: Today's Tip Contributor on June 14, 2011

Technology can help businesses thrive via improved customer service, increased productivity, and decreased operational costs. However, technology can also bog down an organization with unnecessary complexity that negates the aforementioned benefits.

These days there is no need for technology tools to be complex and frustrating. Here are three suggestions on how to avoid complex information technology infrastructure in your business:

1. Look to the future. Businesses evolve over time and so should the technology supporting them. Without considering future business needs (such as expanding locations or remote employees), companies risk acquiring technology on an ad-hoc basis—bolting new technology onto the old, which usually results in increased complexity and higher maintenance costs.

2. Solutions should scale. IT should allow companies to avoid rip-and-replace scenarios. Changing technology costs money; changing end-user experience and transforming the company’s processes also disrupts business operations. Technology that scales provides investment protection and helps avoid complications associated with amalgamating new technology into an existing environment.

3. Calculate all costs. Technology costs can be several times higher than the sticker price when you factor in support, upgrades, configuration changes, and energy. These additional expenses can negate all savings made with the initial purchase. Simplicity and ease of use are paramount to reduce the total cost of ownership.

Rick Parkinson
Chief Information Officer
ShoreTel
Sunnyvale, Calif.

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