Six Tips for Successful Technology Acquisition


According to a new BDC study, Canada’s small and medium-sized businesses are making significant investments in digital technologies, with nine out of 10 (91%) investing an average of $118,000 in 2021. The study, “Seize the Technological Advantage: Why Digitally Mature Companies Perform Better,” finds that digitally mature businesses show much higher growth than others and invest more in digital technologies, which they understand will benefit them. The study finds that the key to digital success is good planning, as 99% of digitally advanced businesses have a digital plan.

“The most digitally advanced companies use technology not only to improve or support their current business but also to solve their problems differently,” says Pierre Cléroux, BDC’s Vice President, Research and Chief Economist. Cléroux points out that businesses no longer have to invest as much in high-end computer equipment to benefit from digital possibilities. As a result, BDC has updated the methodology used in 2018 to measure a company’s digital maturity.

The study finds that a digital divide is emerging among Canadian businesses. Many companies are slow to digitize, and, as a result, they find it harder to finance the growth projects that would allow them to get started on their digital shift. It is estimated that only one in 20 businesses use digital technologies effectively.

The report highlights the main challenges of digitization: cost (42%), cybersecurity (32%), uncertain benefits (27%), and technology integration (27%). It emphasizes one distinguishing characteristic of digitally advanced businesses: the digital plan. Almost all progressive businesses have created a digital strategy that details their technology vision for the coming years. The study offers six tips for a successful technology acquisition:

  1. Create a plan: A plan enables you to focus your efforts and stay ahead of the curve as the company’s technology needs become more critical.
  2. Build a team to guide you through the phases of technology purchase, such as finding the right vendor or asking the right questions.
  3. Take the time to prepare: Avoid mistakes or surprises by talking to peers within their sector and listening to company demos and testing tools.
  4. Communicate your expectations to the vendor and to the different parties that will be using the system.
  5. Prepare an integration plan with milestone dates: An integration plan helps set the pace for the various steps that must be completed along the way.
  6. Start now! It’s the one thing all digitally advanced business owners agree they would have done differently. They all see the benefits of the technology and believe they would have profited sooner from the system had they started earlier.

The Government of Canada’s Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) supports businesses that want to adopt digital technologies to remain competitive. This program offers a grant to help develop a digital plan with experts and a 0% loan of up to $100,000 to facilitate the acquisition of new technology.

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