How to Evaluate Your Technology Needs

Just as your business continually adapts, the technology you use certainly must adapt as well. But knowing exactly how to choose and decide on what you need, and then acquiring and managing it requires some thoughtful consideration. Here are 3 very important considerations to keep in mind when evaluating your technology needs.
1.

Understand your business needs and goals

The technology you choose should align with your business requirements and be able to support technology initiatives you might be considering.

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI continues to be a top trend with applications ranging from chatbots to more complex systems. There is an increased focus on Generative AI which can generate new content, strategies, designs and methodologies.1 ​

80%

of conversational AI offerings will feature generative AI by 2025, up from 20% in 20231

Internet of things (IoT)

IoT uses connected devices to provide optimal results for businesses. The expansion of IoT devices  across various industries is being enabled by an increase in access to available bandwidths.

Big data and advanced analytics

These technologies help businesses make data-driven decisions and gain insights from large volumes of data. Turning data into decisions can help businesses transform and grow.
Any of these technology trends, if implemented into your business, will require greater computing, storage and networking capabilities which can affect the next step.
2.

Understand what you are trying to achieve

Implementing new technology just for the sake of technology—or the “wow” factor—won’t help the business. You need to think about the outcomes you are trying to achieve.

Performance

The technology should “move the needle”. As your business grows, the technology should be able to grow with it without requiring significant additional investment.

When asking organizations what they hoped to achieve with new technology investments:

73%

wanted improvement in the performance of applications on the WAN2

66%

said improvement in the interactions and engagements with customers2

Positive return on investment

Evaluate the return vs. the cost of the new technology. This includes not only the upfront cost but also the long-term costs such as maintenance, upgrades and training. Compare this with the cost of your current technology solutions and what results you are currently receiving.

Top priorities for transforming technology

45%

desired improvements in operational efficiency3

35%

noted reduction in networking costs3

Security

Assess the security features of the technology. It should have robust security measures in place to protect your business data and your customers’ information.

38%

cited security threats as the biggest challenge to digitally transforming their network.3
3.

Don't forget post purchase considerations

Ease of use and training

The technology should be user-friendly. Consider the training and onboarding that would be required for your employees to use the technology effectively.

Partner support and reputation

Check the partner’s reputation and the support they offer. Good support can be crucial for a smooth transition.

Tools and resources

Having a “single handshake” with a provider that has connectivity, computing, security and speed helps maximize the long term outcome. Leaving loose ends unattended or having incompatible systems trying to work together ends up defeating the purpose of the change.
As businesses adopt new technologies (security, cloud, AI) they will face skill shortages and will be unable to support these new tech deployments. Organizations will look to leverage service and technology providers to help bridge the expertise gap with managed network services.2

Find the right technology for your organization

The best technology for your business is the one that meets your specific needs and fits within your budget. Once you have reviewed the three criteria here, Lumen can provide the services, people and resources to help optimize your technology transformation initiatives.
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1Gartner Insights, 30 Emerging Technologies That Will Guide Your Business Decisions, Dec, 2, 2024. 
2IDC, Modernizing the Network with Performance-Enabled Digital Infrastructure, November 2023. 
3IDC, The State of Digital and Network Transformation in US Enterprises, December 2023.