No matter what field you are working in, technology is an important aspect of a business. If your company is not up-to-date with the latest technology, things will not be done as efficiently and your competitors are bound to get ahead of you. Technology is a part of your office environment, from your air conditioners to the software you use to stay productive. Staying aware of technology is essential to maintaining a strong presence in the business world of today. Here are a few ways to stay in the know:
1) Determine your company’s needs
The first step to embarking on this process is to figure out what it is you need. You will have to gauge this by assessing the type of technology you work with, the existing knowledge you have and your style of learning. You’ll need to gain a grasp of the fundamental aspects of technology and then move on to gaining an understanding of the devices you use. Make sure you take note of which types of technology will fit your company’s needs in order to narrow down the amount of knowledge you are taking in. You won’t be able to keep up with every piece of technology that hits the market, and that’s okay. Just focus on the pieces you need.
2) Read up on technology
There are a number of helpful technology and trade magazines, newsletters, and blogs. Essentially all major newspapers have some means of covering technology issues. There, you can learn tips for all of the latest technology, see product reviews, and read Q&A columns. Feel free to look at top tech blogs and websites. Some great websites for technology information are Techcrunch and The Verge.
3) Ask techie friends and coworkers
If you’ve got a friend who loves technology, there’s nothing wrong with reaching out to that friend for help. If you’re scrolling through the technology section of a popular online publication, why not run this by your friend? You can ask your friend to have coffee or lunch with you every now and then so that you can catch up on the latest technology.
4) Talk to other entrepreneurs
If you are leading a business of any kind, you are bound to find yourself at events that will involve networking. While you’re networking, bring up the topic of technology. This way, you will be able to gain information about what technology entrepreneurs in your industry are using at their companies.
5) Figure out which technology resources work the best for you
There are numerous resources out there, and it can get overwhelming if you’re looking in books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs, in addition to talking to people. Figure out which resources apply most to your company’s needs and stick with those. When you’re networking with people, try and figure out whose company operates in a similar way to yours so that you can get the optimal technology advice.
6) Be realistic
It is great to stay up-to-date, but also understand that in many cases “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the best mantra. If your use of outdated technology is allowing you to fall behind in comparison to other companies, then it is time to upgrade. It is important to be aware of the technological advances that are occurring your field, but it’s also beneficial to determine which new pieces of technology you truly need. Try out technology that you think will truly contribute to the cohesiveness and efficiency of your company. If you’re not sure it’s working, poll your company anonymously and ask them. If it isn’t driving results or helping your company in any way, then drop it.
Technology is a large part of every business. In order to run a business smoothly, it is important to stay privy to the ways in which technology is shaping your industry and the world.