I’am often asked what my criteria are for technology investments. Should I buy X device or Y software? Do
I “need” Z? The answers are simple. Some technology is and should be purchased for fun. It is not an investment in technology and should be budgeted under the category of discretionary spending. When I consider a technology investment, I weigh the investment in terms of the four S’s and cost. The four S’s are:
3. Stability; and
Speed: Will the product increase my efficiency or slow me down? An immediate veto goes to any software that is not immediately responsive. Hang time on a mountain bike jump is cool, but for my software, it is not acceptable.
Security: How is the encryption? Is it subject to hacking? We as attorneys have an obligation to protect our client’s confidences. Beware and know the risks. Do not assume a system is secure. Investigate.
Stability: Upgrading to Windows 1O? Will this cause a conflict with existing systems or processes? If so, either have a plan for addressing the conflicts or just don’t upgrade.
Scalability: How many employees do you have? Is the system you are using scalable to the next growth level of your business? We recently upgraded our server. The upgrade allowed me to create a hub and spoke to integrate several external offices and users (and operate as if we were each in the same office). When purchasing software look at the costs of additional users, offices, potential needs.
Costs: Is the investment cost effective? Will it “pay for itself’ in terms of increased efficiency or services?
If the answer to any of the above questions is “no,” my recommendation is not to invest in the technology.