By nature I am compelled to seek out, research, and implement the latest technology to run my business and provide to my clients. The qustions my mind iterates through are “What’s next, what’s new to make the job easier, shortening the sales cycle, expedite payment, extend marketing reach and give me and my client’s businesses increased productivity and the competitive edge”. This is important because while I enjoy doing business in the never ending city of New York, the competition is fierce. While running business locally, I feel the pressure of thousands of businesses around the world competing over the internet in this local market trying to have my business for lunch. Do you get the same feeling? So part of my job is to analyze the technology industry and market, determine what customers want, and what can give my client’s (and my) business the competitive advantage. One sure fire method is to analyze industry leaders. Ask yourself what standards and inovations are industry leaders in your business implementing?. This is a great place to start. For me I’m following and analyzing, for example, Apple and Google’s use of technology. What technologies are they investing in and developing. These industry leaders are concentrating on mobilty, networking and open technologies. So this article is a cross between the emerging technologies technology industry leaders are investing and developing in and the inners of successful business technology implementation and where they meet. The approach to understanding the successful use of business technology starts with planning; then to implementation (includes acquisition and testing); production (including support and maintenance), and finally upgrade (going back to planning). Each of these areas can be broken down into additional areas. For example along with planning may require some level of research, education and/or training. One common mistake many business owners make is not taking into account the educational/training needs of technology. To achieve effective use of business technology sufficient research mut be made and questions must be anyswered. What will IT cost? (implementation, ongoing maintenance, support if I have questions and if the technology fails). Don’t assume an your vendor and IT person will train you, support and maintain the technology unless you have an agreement to do so in a written contract. and remember you get what you pay for, nothings free. Expecting a vendor to add support to technology without additional charges is a recipe for disaster. Marketing technology is far from the actual technology itself. Its show how helpful and simple the technology is. But, does not address to need for maintenance. STOP READ THIS!!! ALL Technology requires maintenance! Your car, your sewer line, your lawn, should I go on? Expecting your technology to run without a plan to do periodic maintenance is the second recipe for disaster. So do put some type of maintenance plan in place. And for the gambling type waiting until sometime goes wrong is not a good idea for maintenance. not only will you and your staff dislike this situation savoy techs and IT are not fond of being presured for fix sometime that was given no attending and is now the “priority of the day”. This is the ingredient called “failing to plan” which can be substituted with “planning to fail”. Does this seem I’m taking it a little personal? You Bet. Been there done that. Ain’t going back soon. Honestly, I avoid forming relationships with clients who do not value their technology enough to maintain it, but wait to call and pressure me to fix it went it fails. Either way its the thrid recipe for Disaster. Finally, keep current. Try not to let your technology fall more than three years behind. Most technology depreciates over three years. Consider replacing one computer per year for every three computers. The replaced computer can be evaluated to be moved to a lesser job and discarded. Software manufacturers will discontinue support of old software at some point leaving your business exposed. Ultimately an your IT person is only as good as the support he/or she may get from the manufacturer. If your technology is not support by the manufacturer you could be left with not alternative then a costly untimely upgrade. Its much better to plan for an upgrade. Recipe – Ample planning – Implementation – Sufficience Support – Regular planned maintenance – Have an upgrade plan.