Last Friday I had two meetings where the topic of technology came up. During a meeting with fellow Business Bank of Texas Business Resource Center contributors Bruce McGraw and Dr. Karen McGraw, I teased Bruce about his new Apple iBook. Actually it wasn’t new, as Bruce bought it fairly soon after it was available several months ago. I should mention that Bruce is in the technology industry. As an IT project manager, Bruce spends most of his working days helping large, medium and small companies determine which technology best meets their needs and more times than not assists with complex implementations of hardware and software.
Bruce seems to always have the latest personal technology on his body. Several months ago I met him at another meeting where I had furnished the address we were going to meet. It was at a different location than I thought. When he got there I asked him if he had any trouble finding the meeting. He said, “No I used the voice search feature of my Android phone and it brought me right to the front door.” Another time I was at a meeting with Bruce and he pulled out this little gadget from his shirt pocket. It was a tiny wireless network hub made by one of the major cellular carriers that allows more than one computer connect through it to the internet. The big issue is it has no wires. It wirelessly connects computers around him to the small wireless router and ultimately the internet.
It’s important to know that Bruce doesn’t buy bleeding edge technology just because he can. He buys it to understand how to better make it work for his clients.
My second meeting on Friday was with an owner of a finance company that finances small company accounts receivable. As we sat down to our meeting, I mentioned something about my own Android phone which I have fallen in love with. I can do so much with it and more importantly it is easy to use.
The finance company owner mentioned as we casually discussed technology how she was not an early adaptor of technology. She still likes to read her books using a hard back or soft cover book, not an electronic book reading device. I mentioned to her that even libraries are moving fast toward a digital publishing world. She was unimpressed.
My point in discussing these two examples is that you really only need to adopt the amount and kind of technology that benefits you or your company. I personally have never been an early adopter of technology until the Android phone came out. I can do nearly anything on my phone. When I am away from my office I feel much more productive because I can do many of those activities on my telephone that I can on a desktop computer. Before buying my android phone, my concern about cell phones was how big the buttons were and how large the display of the phone is (I don’t always put on my reading glasses to answer my cell phone).
My business partner is dragging me, kicking and screaming to replace our company’s customer relationship management system software (CRM). So far I have resisted. Until he shows me concrete examples of how it will save our company time, money and improves my productivity I am more inclined to keep our aged version of ACT.
Business owners need to know that most of them don’t need the latest and greatest technology. The exception is my friend Bruce who lives and works in the world of ever changing technology.
What business owners like me should do is to determine what our needs are, make sure my current technology isn’t meeting those needs and then it if it makes financial sense to do so, change to technology that will make my life easier, earn my business more money, or improve the quality of customer service I give my clients.
Leslie Thacker is the managing partner of Austin Texas based Business Finance Solutions
Leslie Thacker is the Managing Partner in Austin Texas based Business Finance Solutions.