Deciding to adopt new technologies is the first step in a larger process that includes researching, vetting and ultimately implementing new technologies. In the latest installment of #SmarterwithSpotr, Triax’s Vice President of Product, Ian Ouellette, talks about the technology adoption lifecycle and the pitfalls that need to be avoided to the most out of your organization’s tech investment.

I recommend a codified approach to investing in technology, which starts with identifying a problem, selecting a technology, exploiting the solution, and assessing the results and data.

The starting point should always be identifying the key business problems that you are currently experiencing. Nobody knows your business better than you – not a consultant and not a technology vendor – and any solution you decided to test and implement should solve a real issue you have, helping your organization do one or the following: save money, make more money, or speed up processes.

Identifying and agreeing upon a problem leads to a consensus, and this level of buy-in is fundamental – not just because of the upfront capital investment but also the cross-department cooperation that is inevitably required for successful deployment. (And I’m not just talking about the first pilot or project site but every project that follows.)

When it comes to selecting a specific solution to invest in, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of the existing solution (if any) and seek to improve upon them. What does it do well and what is missing? An ideal solution should integrate with your organization’s larger technology stack – a key point that is often undervalued. New technologies generally provide data to act upon, but in most cases, this data requires enrichment or must be combined with existing data sets or insights to provide context, which requires integration/communication/interoperability between current systems and new systems. This is no longer simply an afterthought or “nice to have,” but are up-front conversations that need to be had to ensure an organization is set up to implement and leverage a new solution. Without it, a project team might end up with data that doesn’t tell them anything (i.e. doesn’t solve a problem) that can’t be incorporate into existing data sets to provide actionable insights. Which brings me to my next point…

Relatively speaking, identifying a problem, selecting a solution to solve that problem, and implementing the solution is a lot easier than using those insights to generate actions that will improve your bottom

Properly exploiting the capabilities of a new tech solution requires full commitment to the process, which starts with educating and empowering the people who will be using the technology. Putting tech into the hands of end users will demonstrate firsthand how the solution streamlines one of their tasks or jobs and also paves the way for on-going feedback and evaluation. The sooner a solution is in the hands of end users, the sooner your organization will discover how processes – or people – need to change or evolve to fully leverage a new solution and new data sets. This constant feedback loop is the heart of a successful tech adoption lifecycle, which is a never-ending cycle of iteration, improvement and adjustment. When you empower your project teams with the mindset, skillsets and toolsets to solve key business problems in the field, they have the confidence to share other learnings with management, helping to develop and refine a new platform or process or even identify an additional gap or use case at your organization.

For more questions to ask before adopting a specific solution, including the importance of integrations and end user needs, download our “5 Things to Consider Before You Invest in Construction Technology” E-Book.