Three Tech Screw-Ups That Could Cost You

Is your association lagging rather than leading when it comes to tech? Falling behind on your tech needs slows down your organizational machine and can cost you plenty. Here are three big laggard mistakes to avoid.

Depending on how you manage your tech strategy, your organization may be a technology leader or a laggard. And you can probably guess which one is better.

A recent Accenture study divides companies into those two camps. Technology leaders stay ahead of the curve and help define the rest of the industry; laggards fall behind, both with technology and general growth.

And when an organization screws up its tech, this can create massive long-term problems—costing it as much as 46 percent in revenue over a multiyear period, according to the “Full Value. Full Stop.” report [PDF].

So what kind of screw-ups might a technology laggard make? Here are a few to watch out for:

Failing to keep pace with digital change. Keeping an organizational structure built for an old dynamic—say, the way that Microsoft was organized around Windows more than a decade after that model made sense—can set up some bad decision making. Decisions based on both legacy infrastructure and legacy thinking can make even the simple stuff, like keeping your software up to date, a major challenge. According to the Accenture study, 97 percent of tech leaders build architecture designed for change, versus 30 percent of laggards. It’s not just about having old hardware and software; it’s about the failure of vision that kept you reliant on the old stuff.

Failing to move to the cloud. In a world where data needs to be accessible and workable at all times no matter where people are, organizations that are slow to move off the local server and into cloud computing miss out on significant opportunities to do things better. And the cloud doesn’t just mean hosting files, either. The Accenture report notes that just 30 percent of laggards are embracing the cloud in sophisticated ways—by, for example, implementing headless content management systems.

Failing to manage your tech investments well. Failure to invest in basic maintenance of your technology systems can severely hurt your long-term success. Earlier this year, it was revealed that MySpace lost nearly all of the music uploaded to its site over a 12-year period. Neglecting tech hygiene and resilience can expose you to similar organizational disasters. Meanwhile, departments that work in silos prevent you from reaping the benefits of innovation throughout your organization. Breaking down those internal barriers makes it possible to focus on emerging technologies that will drive success in the future, such as automation.

(SIphotography/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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