Adopting new technology can have some unintended consequences. Here are some unconventional ways to see what makes sense. Note: These apply to adoption for your business, They do not necessarily apply to personal use.
1. Is it a cutting edge, state of the art product?
Try waiting a year until all of the bugs are out of it. Your business can crater while Technical Support tries to find out what went wrong.
2. Does it require you to develop new technical talent to use it effectively?
If the salesman says no. It probably does and you need to talk to several organizations who are using it effectively. Talk to them anyway.
3. Have you personally used this technology elsewhere successfully? How much downtime did you experience?
Wireless digital devices have been around for many years and reception is always crappy when you need it to operate without fail. Wireless coverage is a crap shoot in many areas of the country. Don’t create a business model that relies on reliable wireless communication when it doesn’t exist.
4. How long does it take you to get parts and service if your new system goes down?
We live in a vast country. Your supplier on the other coast does not have a working teleporter. When your production equipment fails during a rush project, what chance do you have to carry on with a manual backup system?
You should figure in the cost of spare parts to be kept in reserve if your new technology is vital to the operation of your business.
5. How long were you told that it should take to get your new technology smoothly integrated into your business?
Double that figure and double the cost estimate for completion.
6. Who in your company will be dedicated to supporting this new technology? Who will be taking over the job they are covering now?
New technology takes special care and feeding for a long time. If you do not plan for adequate support, every hiccup will impact other areas of the company because people will get pulled off of other activities to get these new technology problems fixed.
New technology can give you a competitive advantage and can even save a broken business model, but there is a price to pay and you need to make sure that you know the real costs beforehand.
You might even ask yourself is your business model actually broken because of antiquated technology or is it broken because customers are not being handled correctly.
If your staff does not really enjoy satisfying customer expectations, new technology will not improve customer experiences, it will be used to avoid handling customer complaints.
For a more optimistic view on the adoption of technology read wired.com and admire the cover art shown above.