As fast as 2017 flew by, 2018 will no doubt leave our heads spinning as new tech trends keep inundating our infrastructure roadmaps. Regardless, the new year provides a unique time to peek into the near future and hopefully take a stab at organizing the ensuing chaos.
What’s on your to-do list for 2018? It includes office tech upgrades of some kind, right? Here’s why it should—and how to best go about nailing the right tech trend adoption strategy.
Step 1: Admit you have a problem
Seriously. If everything in your office is humming at 100 percent performance and efficiency, why would you even bother with new technology?
Alas, without the limitless resources and ingenuity of Stark Industries, you can likely find a few IT bottlenecks without too much effort. Don’t stop at the black-and-white numbers, either—operational bottlenecks can prove more subtle than you think.
Experteer and Sharp Business Systems made this painfully obvious when they discovered that keeping around old office technology, like slow printers, outdated software, and laptops that still have Windows XP badges, can suck a year’s worth of vacation right out from under you. That equates to an insane 37 minutes of wasted time each day. Yikes!
Ancient office tech can even lead to rather grumpy, disgruntled employees. In fact, 42 percent of those surveyed in the report admitted they’d feel more motivated to roll out of bed in the morning and come to the office if they knew they’d be greeted with functioning technology. There’d probably be fewer mice flying across the room, too.
You can start this process by first identifying the areas of your office infrastructure slowing you down.
Step 2: Get your issues in order
Now that you know why your PTO balance is constantly in the red, it’s time to figure out what you actually need to do. Go ahead and break down the issues you found in step one into three buckets:
- Tech that’s mere presence is slowing you down (think: old, unused fax machines that can simply be removed).
- Tech that needs an upgrade.
- Tech that needs to happen (i.e., gaps in your current infrastructure that can be solved with the addition of new office tech trends).
I heartily recommend an Office Space approach to issues that fall into the first bucket (but, seriously, you should look into proper disposal methods for tech at the end of its lifecycle). For the second and third buckets, take advantage of innovative tech that allows you to do more with less.
Take that old print fleet occupying the hallway. We’ve already found out how much time it can waste waiting to warm up, spool, and eventually print. Compound that with how often Gary in cube A9 jams the machine printing off his manuscripts and it’s clear you might be ready for an upgrade.
Today’s printers can do more than print fast—they can take less time to manage from an operational standpoint and even fortify other aspects of your environment, like IT security. Deploying a fleet that can manage its own patches and updates while actively monitoring for vulnerabilities might just end up saving you more than vacation days.
It’s for this reason that you shouldn’t just look at the latest tech trends as potentially useful fads but as innovative potential that can immediately impact the efficiency of office operations. As you look ahead at 2018, don’t shy away from that AI-powered collab tool or an almost self-aware printer. You might just get an extra vacation day out of it, if you’re lucky.