In the technology business IT pros and their managers always need to be looking forward and evaluating the technology products and services they use to make sure they still meet their needs.
Technology advances at a fast pace and these days budgets can be the biggest challenge in the IT industry so that means value must come from every product and service that is being used by a company. That means not wasting money on things are not working and reinvesting that into viable solutions.
Yesterday, over on Microsoft's Office blog, they introduce a technology lifecycle and seven steps for integrating it into your own business.
It begins with these questions:
- If a specific application supported my company in the past, how is it benefiting me now?
- Are our programs performing in line with our desired standard?
- What, if anything, am I doing to ensure my technology is not outdated?
- Is my vendor providing me with resources to manage my applications?
- Am I really getting the maximum business value from these solutions?
Those questions and their answers can now flow into the following seven step process for addressing whether or not your tech products and services are meeting your needs.
Here is a quick summary of those steps:
Introduce yourself to the product’s benefits, programs, services and content. What’s new with the product? Who else is using it? How does it benefit them?
Select the best product for your business. Evaluate the product to confirm its alignment with your business’s goals. Think about both your current and future needs.
Connect with the product’s customer services, including any deployment assistance programs, step-by-step setup guidance or visual assets. These documents will serve as a roadmap for the successful implementation of your product. Consider your strategies for product-integration.
Discover best practices for a successful product launch using an integrated admin console or alternative resources. How do you configure the product? How do you manage or administrate it? Are management and administration tools provided? How should you prepare for change and incidents?
Is development guidance provided? Are there opportunities to learn about best practices and see how the product is being modified to solve real business goals?
Retain critical support contacts and information to resolve issues with your deployment and management of the product. Consider live support options including in-person, phone or chat. These options should be balanced by online troubleshooting and guidance.
Secure the best possible experience with your new technology for you and your end users. Invest in a product with training and adoption options designed specifically to encourage you and your company to further your understanding as you advance with your new technology.
Read the entire Plug in to success—7 steps for a strategic technology lifecycle article for more information.
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