The Common Mistakes Made By SMEs When Investing In New Technology By Steve Tuitt

Using the right technology is critical to the success of any business.

However, for the majority of business owners, one of the biggest concerns is the use of technology in the workplace. This includes what technology is needed and when is the right time to invest.

This problem gets bigger especially when you have to juggle this dilemma with trying to run your business which often leads to making the wrong choices. The right technology can not only improve productivity but also increase profits as well.

The wrong technology investment that doesn’t meet your needs can lead to a costly hit to your bottom line.

Here are some common mistakes that many businesses make when investing in technology

  • Business technologies bought and not fit for purpose
  • Technology Investments made without trying out scenarios
  • Technology Investments that have been financially damaging
  • Transitioning from existing to new or greener technologies
  • Improving the way we reuse, reduce, recycle, replace business technologies
  • Blindly following the upgrade culture

Every business, no matter the size, needs to have in place a number or portfolio of technologies to be able to operate and deliver either products or services and the number and types of these technologies are growing.

This can lead to a broad spectrum of technologies ranging from e-economy technologies like mobile phone apps to utility type technologies such as the different kinds of electricity supply now available.

Collectively, these technologies can add up to significant amounts and hence pose a significant financial and operational risk as this is one of the high spend areas for many businesses. Additionally, this cost grows year on year.

The key question is how many businesses track and monitor the collective impact these technologies have on the business?

Asset management solutions have been available for many years that enable businesses to record, track and monitor assets but they tend to focus on specific areas such as ICT equipment, products/widgets and similar items.

This is the traditional silo approach, following the general feeling is that it is not possible or it is a waste of resources to bring all of the relevant assets (portfolio of technologies) together and deal with them in a whole/holistic way.

For many operations managers and those in charge with buying technology, this exercise is too complex and the cost does not justify the effort and expense.

Return on investment (ROI) and total cost of ownership (TCO) are the traditional ways of measuring the value of technology in business. However, our experience of working with businesses and organisations has led us to advise on using another value proposition that is just as important and this is how well the technology has been used.

Over the years, we have seen many cases where the better technology has not gained traction in the market because customers would not accept it unlike a lower quality competitor who is making significant gains such as the VHS and BetaMax (see below for case study) war.

With this in mind, SBT Consulting has now created a solution to this dilemma. We have developed a working model to demonstrate our concept of “Technology Profiling” that provides a solution to the points raised and illustrates how for little cost, to take a more holistic approach [1]to managing technology within your business.

The link is below. Why not have a play and disrupt your thinking?

How do you measure your use of technology? We would love to hear what modelling you are using to track your technology expenditure. Please leave a comment below.

Furthermore, for any questions or queries regarding technology profiling and how to use it in your business, please drop us an email

VHS Vs BETAMAX – The Videotape Wars.

This was a fierce battle between two rival video formats and multi-nationals to take a significant share of the then very lucrative video tape market and shows the power of the utilisation of a new technology product by consumers over a product of superior quality.

  • SONY created BETAMAX
  • JVC created VHS

BetaMax was, in theory, a superior recording format over VHS due to resolution (250 lines vs. 240 lines), slightly superior sound, and a more stable image; BetaMax recorders were also of higher quality construction but cost a lot more than VHS machines.

The main determining factors between BetaMax and VHS were the cost of the recorders, recording time, availability and compatibility with other video machines for sharing.

What Sony did not take into account was what consumers wanted, what they will use, when and where they want to use it (utilisation). While BetaMax was believed to be the superior format consumers wanted an affordable, available video recorder.

Then came DVD format and the rest, as they say, is history.


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We are Social Business Technologies Consulting specialists in delivering Business Transformation services. Use SBT Consulting to develop and manage your transformation projects and we will design you a bespoke solution. We recently worked with a Local Government customer on a Special Educational Needs (SEN) reforms project providing business analysis and project management expertise. SBT Consulting can provide you with Certified Management Consultants that can help your business in the current disruptive business environment answering questions like: Why the business needs a consultant to do what you can be done in-house, help develop plans to manage and introduce changes to their business and competitive consultancy fees that are value for money ! We can help your business to Improve the bottom line (profits), Avoid the pain of change, Implement change successfully, Contribute to the social responsibility agenda, Create value that is hard to replicate by competitors, Ensure your money is being well spent and Generating more repeat or new customers.