By Larry Velez, Sinu founder and CTO
I have noticed that people have incredibly low tolerance for delays in any solutions they use today, and this impatience seems to increase the younger you are.
For example, if a website is does not load almost immediately, you’ve lost that visitor. Email is often bypassed for a text or another app that loads faster and connects them faster. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, the length of the most popular You Tube videos was 2 minutes and 1 second, and if a video doesn’t load fast enough, they are off to the next thing…maybe even opting for using another screen simultaneously.
There may be some negative effects to all this, but I think one thing is going to hold true: solutions that don’t respond quickly will be abandoned no matter how well they work, how many features they have, or how complex they are. Less agile solutions in a workplace are at risk of being replaced by employees (whether authorized by their employer or not) for other faster, and often less stable solutions. Business owners are increasingly challenged to provide employees access to the information they need at the speed they are used to outside the workplace while protecting systems and data.
Selecting technology that provides both speed and stability is tricky. While it’s true that outdated, complex systems can be bottlenecks for employee productivity, having a workforce that uses different solutions and accessing valuable data in a multitude of ways in often inefficient and risky.
When considering the quality of business solutions, it is important to consider the speed of using the solution, speed to usability (how much training is needed to get going) and speed to access. However, speed alone is not the only criteria that should be considered, equally important are a solution's features, compatibility with your legacy data and current technology, and viability of the company providing the solution. Another consideration is the impact in your sector. For instance, solutions with a large market share in your industry usually have several advantages: there are more people who are familiar with the solutions; it's often easier to convince other companies to integrate with them; and it can be easier to find training materials and support for your employees. However, the larger market leaders can often command a premium for their product and may be slower to adapt to changing customer demands than start-ups that may be trying to gain market share in the sector.
It is also important to consider your culture and how agile your employees need the solutions to be in order to get the most productivity from your team. How quickly will the solution be adopted, how quickly can it be tested, accessed, and how flexible are the access points are all considerations. Is as easy as an iPhone/iPad app and a login to get going? If so, your employees will feel familiar with the solution and adopt it more quickly.
Adriaan van Wyk, CEO of K2 and a contributing writer for Entrepreneur, summarizes this point well: “…The key is to understand the ‘speed of your people’ and to build on that energy by picking tools, technologies and internal controls that allow employees to focus on solving problems.”
For small businesses and nonprofits it is often challenging to dedicate the time and resources to try to find and support the speedy solutions that employees want. At Sinu, we understand that our customers’ solutions must reflect their culture and the “speed of their people.” That’s why we continually assess new technologies and add the IT services our customers need to stay competitive with the internal controls to minimize risk. We have been doing it for 10 years and have seen many changes in technology… it is exciting to anticipate what will drive enterprise solutions in the next decade.