Why do companies need to invest in technology?
Investing in technology is the basis for long-term business growth, but many Latin American companies are not doing it correctly. Transforming business culture is as important as choosing the right technology and the most convenient financing.
The competitiveness of organizations increasingly depends on their ability to digitize systems, operations, and processes at the pace of technology. The thing is that today technology has become essential for the sustainability and growth of businesses, especially in the long term.
Despite this, many companies in Latin America do not invest in technology or do so incorrectly. In addition, a business culture must encourage innovation and creativity in the process of investing in technology.
It seems distant and dissociated from the “hardware”, but it ends up being fundamental and reaches all types of business culture. In a global survey carried out five years ago, 62% of private sector managers indicated that organizational culture was the main difficulty in going digital.
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This is because the elements of business culture that the members of a company share reflect their way of thinking and acting, their values, their ethics, their mission, vision, and purpose. Hence, a profound change such as digital transformation requires an environment favorable to technological innovation to develop.
Among the main consequences that are evident today when a business culture does not value investment in technology, the following stand out:
Loss of competitiveness
Not being up to date with the latest trends and tools that the competition is taking advantage of can cause you to lose clients and business opportunities.
Having obsolete and inefficient processes can lead to an increase in operating costs and a decrease in the quality of the products and services offered.
Lack of innovation
Falling behind in terms of innovation can mean losing market opportunities and new products or services.
Company culture, often referred to as corporate culture, encompasses the shared values, beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that define how an organization's members interact with each other, their work, and external stakeholders. The corporate culture definition serves as the collective personality of the company, shaping its identity, guiding decision-making processes, and influencing how employees perceive and engage with their roles.
Corporate culture plays a pivotal role in the successful integration of technology within an organization, and it's closely intertwined with the points discussed above. The embrace of technology should not occur in isolation but as an integral part of the company's cultural framework.
How to build a digital culture
The adaptation of corporate culture to the digital age inevitably involves the people who are part of the company. Both managers and employees must incorporate digital skills to face the digital transformation, which also means leaving behind the vices of a bureaucratic culture, and an authoritarian culture and embracing a culture based on objectives at different levels:
The executives who lead the business must believe in digitalization and transmit it to the rest of the organization. Next, area supervisors must support the strategy and measure the results to advance progressively.
Digitalization must adapt to the needs of the teams to provide tools that speed up their work. Individual analysis and internal communication are very important in identifying the problems and needs of each department. This aspect is very relevant from the point of view of human resources management because it helps the employee feel identified as well as retain talent.
Companies have to pay attention to the environment to identify obstacles that prevent teams from being more productive. The creation of collaborative zones can improve the work of departments.
What aspects to consider when investing in technology
To invest in technology, companies must have a clear and structured strategy that guides decisions. Some steps to consider are to define and implement the strategy and make decisions based on it.
Evaluate existing technology to identify areas that need improvement and update outdated systems.
Clearly define the objectives to be achieved through investment in technology, which must be measurable, specific, and achievable.
Identify the most appropriate technologies for your objectives and needs. You can consult technology experts, conduct market research, or identify industry best practices.
Carefully plan the implementation of the selected technology, which involves defining deadlines, assigning resources, defining responsibilities, and testing.
It is important to train employees to ensure they can use technology effectively.
Periodically evaluate the impact of the investment in technology, through measuring results, comparing them with defined objectives and identifying opportunities for improvement.
How to fund your technology investment
Currently, there are many financial tools that allow companies to leverage their investments in technology, especially those of medium or small structure:
Bank loans: Banks offer different lines of credit and long-term loans. This is a good option for SMEs that have a solid credit history and good payment capacity.
Angel investors: These are people with investment capacity who have business knowledge. They provide capital and add value in the early stages of a project with high growth potential.
Supplier financing: Some technology companies offer financing for the purchase of their products. It is a good option for SMEs that do not have enough liquidity for an immediate acquisition.
Investment funds: An alternative chosen by those seeking long-term financing to invest in technology. These funds can provide capital in exchange for a stake in the company.
Crowdfunding: These are collective financing platforms, where SMEs can present specific projects to fund through individual investors.
Accelerators and incubators: Public or private organizations that are responsible for accelerating the growth of companies that are just starting out in their activity, helping them configure their business model and raise financing.
Subsidy and aid programs: SMEs are usually excellent candidates for this type of program offered by governments and private organizations, which provide financing for the acquisition of technology.
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Digitalization is no longer an option for companies. Above all, small and medium-sized organizations have the obligation to invest in technology to ensure the future of their business and that of their staff. Successfully addressing this challenge also implies a cultural transformation, which from senior management promotes spaces and behaviors that are increasingly closer to innovation and creativity.
In conclusion, investing in technology is a critical imperative for businesses in Latin America and beyond. It's no longer a matter of choice but a necessity for long-term growth and competitiveness. However, it's not just about technology; it's about cultivating a corporate culture that embraces innovation, creativity, and digital transformation.
A resilient corporate culture that encourages employees to adapt to the digital age is vital. This cultural shift requires leadership from the top, where management leads by example and fosters an environment conducive to innovation. In this rapidly evolving landscape, businesses that invest in technology and nurture a culture of digital innovation are better positioned to not only survive but thrive in the modern business world.