Friday, March 13, 2009

New Technology Adoption - Key Considerations and Cost Elements

When new technology arrives on the market, companies and individuals have to make decisions about it. Some key questions to consider are:
 Benefits. What are the benefits of the new technology to my business activities? Will standard business processes benefit and be changed by the technology?
 Replacement and stability. Is the new technology likely to be replaced soon by still better technology?
 Interfaces. How will the technology interface to the systems and technology already in place? What will be the integration effort?
 Long-term support. What are the long-term support implications of the technology?
 Management. How will the new technology be managed, measured, and controlled?

When new technology is adopted, there is a learning curve. This learning curve can be broken down into phases. The phases are:
 Initial learning. Here a person gains some understanding and basic knowledge of the technology product. They really cannot do much with it yet.
 Proficiency. You start to explore and use the technology. You think about how it can be used in a business setting.
 Application. You decide that the technology is worth pursuing further and you consider developing applications and using it in a business activity.
 Maintenance and support. The learning has basically stopped and you are now forced to maintain it.

Cost Elements Associated with Technology Adoption
 Cost of evaluation and selection. You have to consider alternative solutions and technologies. You may have to draft reports and presentations to sell the technology. You have to spend time figuring out how the new technology will fit it with what you have and the benefits that will be derived
 Cost of acquisition and purchasing. The item that you want may require many additional pieces of hardware, software, or network components
 Retrofitting the current technology cost. You may have to change the current technology and upgrade it in order to use the new technology
 Installation cost. You have to spend time and money installing it or having someone install it for you
 Training cost. There may be initial training and in-depth training
 Setup cost. After installation, you often have to setup the new technology in terms of parameters, etc.
 Application cost. You incur major costs when you now build an application using the technology
 Process change cost. You have to change the business activity to take advantage of the new application
 Expertise cost. You may need to hire someone to consult as an expert on the technology since you are learning it for the first time
 Support and maintenance cost



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