Jim Hornung Jr., president of Elbers Landscape in Buffalo, NY, spoke to attendees on how to make smarter approach to technology implementation. Following are four takeaways from his session:
1. When choosing technology identify what you are trying to accomplish first and then choose the solution. Sales people are good at telling you what they think you need, but only you know what pain you are trying to resolve with technological advancements.
2. Once you narrow down which solution you are going to select, start the process of mapping out the implementation. Usually the provider will offer a schedule, but you need to develop an internal plan that allocates human capital, IT resources, etc.
3. The other costs that have to be considered are the indirect costs for hardware items (e.g., computers, smart phones, chargers, cases, etc.). Those costs can add up quickly and often are not factored by the solution provider because they are not products that they sell.
4. Consider who and how to use the data that is collected. It is not good enough to simply collect the data - you have to use it to improve operations and profitability. Often, the amount of data that is being collected is daunting and knowing how to properly transform it into actionable information can be challenging and time consuming during the implementation phase and beyond.