Vice President of Product at Visual Lease.
In a 2020 IDC survey, 42% of technology decision makers reported that their organizations planned to invest in technology to close the digital transformation gap. We expect that number has since risen.
Companies invest in technology for several reasons: to streamline crucial processes, to stay relevant and to find and maintain a competitive edge. What it comes down to is that a company’s tech stack is a key component of its growth strategy.
I recently wrote an article about how to efficiently identify and implement the right solution to accommodate your changing lease portfolio. Regardless of which system you’re currently shopping around for, you can’t just choose the “latest and greatest” technology. You have to invest in the right technology that will support your business today and in the future.
So, before you enter into a new agreement with a solution provider, do your due diligence and take stock of what you already have in place. Think about potential solutions as it relates to business impact and strategic alignment — the goal is to find something that drives both, and invest in it. Here are the questions to ask yourself along the way:
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Are we still using this?
Review each system that you currently have in place and ensure that it’s being used — and at what capacity. You’ll be surprised to find that there might be an opportunity to move away from a particular solution (depending on your contract terms) or utilize something in a way you didn’t previously know that you could. Either outcome could affect your criteria in selecting a new system. Implementing technology that helps to maintain or replace existing processes can have a high business impact but falls on the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to strategic alignment. So, this should be one of the things that a new solution accomplishes, but it should not be the sole thing that it brings to the table.
What do we like?
Create a “pros” list based on your existing tech stack. For example, maybe you really love the customer service experience that a particular vendor provides you. Or, maybe your team greatly benefited from another vendor’s easy-to-use interface. These are two things you should add to the very top of your “must-have” list. Having these criteria at the ready will make for easy conversations with potential vendors and ensure that your new solution will meet the needs of the team(s) who will be using it. If you choose technology that will drive quick adoption (and results), you’re actively investing in your business, which furthers strategic alignment and business impact.
What do we dislike?
Conversely, create a “cons” list based on your existing tech stack or current processes. Perhaps one of your existing vendors takes forever to roll out product updates or does a poor job of communicating new product features. Or — and this is a big one when it comes to implementing a lease optimization solution — you realize that your manual method of tracking lease data via Excel spreadsheets requires too much time, threatens data accuracy and is a surefire way to make serious errors that affect your reporting. Knowing what you don’t like can help you effectively get what you do like out of a new solution — and choosing a solution that enhances current processes accelerates strategic alignment.
Will it seamlessly integrate with other solutions we like/prioritize?
A strong tech stack is one that works together, and in many cases, your new solution will need to easily plug into your existing systems. Prioritize your desired integration capabilities. When it comes to implementing a lease optimization solution, it’s important that it can connect to ERP systems to provide users with a full picture of their lease data. If your new technology can’t provide you with meaningful data, it’s significantly less valuable to you and your organization.
In another worldwide IDC survey, 70% of organizations said they started a new digital transformation initiative in 2020. Odds are that the pressure to expand your organization’s digital transformation efforts has increased since the onset of Covid-19. But rather than rush to implement new technology, you’ll benefit from taking the time to understand what you have in place.
With this knowledge, you’ll confidently know how your next investment will complement your existing systems, accommodate your technology roadmap and support your organization well into the future. A worthy investment will drive business impact and strategic alignment — and you shouldn’t settle for anything less.