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Take a holistic view of your technology prioritization

By Brian Blaha

Technology can be a game changer — but it’s rarely an end-all solution, and the innovations you can choose from are endless.

Technology prioritization is critical. The beauty lies in how organizations use it to address their unique challenges and elevate what they do best while utilizing the right data to guide future investments.

In a highly competitive and increasingly global business environment, technological innovations can be game changers in enabling enterprises to not only survive but also succeed at doing what they do best. When technology spurs efficiency, strengthens your product or enhances the customer experience, that’s a good thing.

But there’s a catch. It can’t do everything or solve every problem. Technology should be thought of as an enabler. In this emerging world of AI, there’s a human element that can’t be understated. Organizations need vision, leadership and creativity to guide how they maximize technology and continually plan for the future.

Sometimes, management teams expect automation or AI to elevate their organization’s competitive position to a point where they don’t have to invest in people, improve their internal culture or explore better processes. This is a mistake. It can lead to degraded customer service, reduced employee morale and lost market share.

Conversely, some companies invest in technology but fail to evolve the administrative processes they are trying to replace. This approach only fuels organizational complexities, increases expenses and reduces the ability to adapt to change.

The red tape doesn’t go away. It just gets worse.

Moreover, some organizations may take a blanket approach and invest in multiple projects to upgrade technology across various areas of their business without proper oversight. This can elevate costs, zap cash flows and marginalize the impact of what really needs to be done.

In a sense, less can be more.

Organizations must invest heavily in project management and have a strong understanding of the projects’ interdependencies and the impact of multiple changes on employees.

A substantial part of our mission at Wipfli is to help companies guard against these pitfalls. Time is of the essence, especially within a volatile macro environment where change is constant and speeding up while costs are rising. We are constantly exploring new technologies and ways of doing things within the context of what makes each client unique and where they can benefit most.

It’s all about pinpointing those particular areas — or pain points — where a company can benefit most from technology at the right budget. Beginning with obtaining and analyzing key data, it’s important to take a holistic view and build in the concept of a concerted technology road map. It’s about painting the picture of where the organization is headed and over what time horizon.

Within this context, leadership must prioritize those weaknesses and bottlenecks causing the most trouble. As these solutions bear fruit, effective leaders need to continually analyze a company’s performance and technology needs from a position of strength.

Technology is a tool that should be incorporated into what a company does best — with the goal of continually improving while retaining those attributes that drove success in the first place. Human oversight and committed leadership are vital. Technology can’t replace the power of relationships or the experience of using an already great product — but it can enhance these things and make them better.

It’s all about staying attuned to the big picture while making those investments that will have the optimal impact in enabling your organization to succeed.

Brian Blaha

Brian Blaha, CPA
Growth Partner

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For more than 90 years, Wipfli has used our unique perspective to deliver practical yet transformational solutions to our clients. Our integrated approach helps mitigate risk, optimize performance and accelerate growth.