Making technology decisions, or choosing new software to solve a business problem, often feels like something best left to the IT team. However, the pains and frustrations of using outdated technology - or relying on paper-heavy manual processes - is often felt the most further down the line of the business.
Our latest independent survey of the UK Care Sector explored the various challenges facing care home staff and managers today, probing deeper into the role of technology day to day. Interestingly, it revealed more of an appetite for technology than common wisdom perhaps dictates, while also highlighting the common perceptions and barriers to making tech decisions.
Over three in five (62%) care home professionals surveyed agreed that introducing new technology would really help reduce admin burdens, while 63% of staff said introducing new technology could make the running of their care home easier.
Despite this, our research also uncovered two key barriers that would seem to explain some of the reasons why the care sector is slower than other sectors to invest in smarter technology solutions:
- Technology is too expensive - more than two in five (45%) care homes believe that new technology will be too expensive, and that they don't have the budget.
- There's not enough expertise to manage an implementation - almost two in five (38%) said they don’t have the expertise in-house to effectively introduce new technology.
It is true that large enterprise solutions can be costly to procure and implement. Yet there are lots of SME (small & medium size enterprise) solutions on the market that are scalable and much more affordable. If you shop around, you may even find software vendors that offer a ‘pay as you grow’ option, which means what you pay will depend on your use.
A lot of technology solutions today are available in the cloud. Often known as Saas (Software as a Service). This means there is no need to invest money in lots of hardware equipment or to have technical expertise in-house. You will also avoid long implementation timescales. Saas solutions tend to be agile, quick to set-up and, if the system is complex, a customer service team is usually available to help support you if you have any challenges or queries along the way.
It is easy to avoid getting involved in buying technology for your business, especially if you feel daunted or overwhelmed at the prospect of technical jargon and complex sales pitches. Yet, these kinds of projects can be highly rewarding professionally – as well as lucrative for the business. Investing in smarter technology will help you to challenge your processes like never before. And, in many cases, will ensure that you have an automated system that supports a more refined, thought-through process.
Admittedly, it is all down to building experience and confidence - and ensuring you start the project from the outset thoughtfully – and with the right team around you.
Zupa has put together eight top tips to help you take a smarter approach to your technology procurement. You can download it here.