Modern world has become very versatile and technology is evolving everyday. It is important for companies to maintain their competitiveness in the market by implement new emerging technologies that will better their services and give them operating advantage over their rivals. Introduction of new technology into a company involves buying and installation of the hardware. The cost incurred includes the cost of disposing the old hardware to be replaced by the new ones (Boar, 2001, p.34). Many managers would like evading these extra costs by clinging to their old hardware. Compromising the quality of the service delivered to the customers might be initially cheap but is very costly in the long run.
Acquisition of new hardware and software is viewed as addition of unworthy expense by some management. It is necessary to perform an initial evaluation of possible benefits of the new technology over the existing technology. In order to successfully adopt and implement new technology into a company, the under listed recommendations are necessary for efficient transition (Boar, 2001, p.34). Management should ensure implementation, training and other support strategies necessary for implementation of the new technology are achieved in due time for introduction of the new technology.
Before management can adopt a new technology, it should evaluate the possible benefits it will give to their customers. A company should not upgrade its machines because there is a newer technology in the market but should do so to improve their services. At the same time the company should not retain their old technology which might no longer be viable. Upgrading of present systems might give a company some advantages over its rivals (Kform, 2006). The value of the new technology is weighed by comparing the effectiveness of the technology against the cost involved in acquisition and implementation. At the same time, the management should involve everyone that will be affected by the change of technology around the company so as they can also air their views and recommendations before the final decision is arrived at.
Employees who will be affected by the new technology in their service delivery have to be prepared psychologically about the arrival of a different system. Customers whose services will have to be affected by system upgrade should also be involved to prepare them and reduce any possible upheavals. Technical department of the company should also be involved to prepare them for the arrival of a different systems, training might be required on operation and maintenance of the new systems and get additional information especially likely down time during the change over. Involving the staff will give management additional information on weaknesses that it might not have noticed also will enhance acceptance of the new systems. The technical department should also be used in the evaluation of the new systems against the existing systems. It is after the evaluation that management should arrive at the best compromise (Regan and O’Conner, 2002, p.364).
The management should consider the cost of the system against the company worth, this is necessary to ensue that the company’s spending on installation is not over board and is within the forecasted company expenditure within the same period (Regan and O’Conner, 2002, p.366). To avoid random and unplanned procurement, the company should set up funds in their budgets that should be used for acquisition of new systems without affecting the smooth running of the company.
After management has established need for new technology in the company, the next step is implementation and realization of the laid down plan. The procurement department should consult widely from the concerned departments to establish additional resources, time required for full installation of the new system and the possible down time during installation. If the down time is likely to affect the business, the management should have alternative measures to cover down time. Once the implementation plans have been laid down, all stake holders should be informed about the scheduled changes. This will ensure a seamless transfer from the old technology to the new one within the shortest time possible.
After the new systems have been laid down, the next step involves testing it to ensure that the output is as was expected. If the system experiences some problems in executing its scheduled work, the technical team should ensure these errors and other short comings are eliminated before other members of staff start using it. The technical team can test the program used for running the new systems with the older systems before they are dismantles; this will give them a leeway to proceed to install the new technology as the out put will have been experienced using the current technology.
After the new technology has been successfully installed, the next step should be planning on training for the staff member and other stake holders that will be required to bear operation skills on the program. The first group to be trained should be the one that was involved in the installation process, the technical department. This department should know all aspects of the new technology because they will be charged with the responsibility of maintaining and repairing the system. Also, the group can be used for training the other department which will lower the costs that the company would have incurred by using trainers from outside the company.
Departmental managers will have to prepare schedules to be used by staff in their respective departments during the training period; this will make the training organized and easy to both the trainers and the trainees. Also, the training should be structure in a manner that will accommodate the needs of different staff members. The team charged with the responsibility of training the staff should have the necessary training materials; these will range from reading materials, samples and some prototypes to help staff members that will difficulties in understanding the reading materials. The training should fully prepare staff members so that they will be ready to serve the customers without having to refer or ask co-workers or the technical team.
If the program has customer interactive parts that can be accessed through the internet, then the customers need to be brief on the changes and served with user manuals to help them adapt to the system in the shortest time possible. The customers can be supplied with reading materials and also there should be an open link through which the clients can air their questions and view about the new technology. If the customer’s confidence is built, they can help in publicizing the same to other customers
Support Strategies Training
Even after the new program has been fully implemented, there is always some room for improvements and upgrades to the program. The company should ensure no employee is left behind if the system is upgraded. The trainings should not be closed as new employees will always be introduced into the company, also new customers will need to be oriented to the system to make service delivery much easier both to the customer and the staff (Marchewka, 2006, p.47). The employees should also receive refresher courses especially on modulus that are mostly used during regular business operations, the refresher courses will update the on any new modulus that might have been added to the program.
There should be a supportive group within the technical department that should unsure the system runs smoothly and whenever there are breakdowns they should minimize the down time (Boar, 2001, p.35). The support team can have an office within the companies premise or they should be easy to locate when need arises; through the phone, emails, etc.
If the management follows these recommendations, implementation and switch over from the older technology will be achieved with very little damage to both the company and the clients. It is important for any company to upgrade its technical systems, but if the necessary arrangements are not made prior to implementation, the change over might be damaging to the company and may even result in loss of clients who are the most valuable asset to any business.
Boar, B. (2001). The Art of Strategic Planning for Information Technology. New York: John Wiley & Sons Publishing.
Kform Software. (2006). Implementing new technology. Retrieved June 23, 2007, from http://software.kform.com/news-section/latest/implementing-new-technology.html.
Marchewka J. (2006). Information Technology Project Management: Providing Measurable Organizational Value. New York: John Wiley & Sons Publishing
Regan, E. & O’Connor, B. (2002). End-User Information Systems: Implementing Individual and Work Group Technologies. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc. Upper Saddle Ri
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