Technology has become an integral part of our lives; it’s in our homes, workplaces, businesses, the supermarket, our cars and in the palm of our hands with smartphones.

There is no escaping it. Our world is changing.

We’re rapidly moving from an analogue world to a digital world. Some will embrace it willingly, and some will be curious to learn more, while others may stick to being lazy and just curry-ing their same old same style.

So why do some of us resist change? Why Malaysian Indian business owners are afraid to adopt new technologies?
Change is often synonymous with fear, and fear is an emotion signalling that danger is near.

Lexico Online Dictionary defines fear as an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.

The human brain is engineered first and foremost to keep us safe. A complex organ, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the brain’s true potential. However, we do understand the fight or flight response our bodies have once the alarm in our brain is triggered. The cavemen instinctively knew that to keep themselves safe, they could run or fight. After a time, they also learnt that to ensure their long-term survival, they could evolve: They could learn to adapt and change. So, he built a shelter, made tools and adopted clothing to keep him and his family safe. He learnt to protect himself through change.

How does this relate to adopting new technologies in the business world?
While we no longer live in caves, the instinct to protect ourselves remains. So, when we have other fears such as losing our job, then our intuition kicks in.

If you don’t change, adapt and evolve then you will become obsolete or worse; extinct.

Our world is changing fast. We buy more online, so our high streets are closing, we source our news online hence the sale of printed materials has reduced, the pub is no longer our social hub as we interact more on social media platforms to stay in touch with friends and family. The same will happen with your business unless you adapt and embrace the inevitable changes.

Don’t panic; help is at hand.
Many business owners struggle with the changes in technology because there is so much noise on the whole subject: “Digital transformation is coming – get the latest tech!”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

The fear isn’t uncommon and usually presents itself in one of three ways:

Fear of change
Fear of the unknown
Fear of wasting money
You can go around in circles asking yourself: Which software is right for your business? How much will it cost? Can everyone use it efficiently? Do we need regular updates? Can’t we just manage with the system we are on and bolt on new bits? What’s the competition doing? What method do they have?

You’re not alone. It can be a minefield to know which technologies to adopt and which will help to grow your business successfully and deliver a high return on investment.

Overcoming your Fear to Embrace Growth

Charles Darwin said,
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

As technology transforms our world, the impact on our business is significant. If you don’t learn to embrace the changes your business will stall, become stagnant and fail.

Here are our favourite tips to help you and your business evolve:
Remember Kodak, Blockbuster, Toys R Us and Readers Digest? Well, the next generation won’t. Why? Because they were afraid to change. They didn’t adapt their business to the market demands. As cameras went digital, Kodak didn’t. When people started to buy toys online, Toy R Us didn’t develop an online shopping service and couldn’t keep up with a highly competitive industry.

Successes: Some companies have been on the brink of failure and then risen from the dead to become agile and profitable companies. Think about Apple, Lego and IBM. Near to total extinction Apple has overcome a series of failures in its business lifetime, yet every time it came close to disaster Apple learnt a valuable lesson; they adapted their product or strategy to grow yet again.

Facts: Feelings aren’t facts. While it may sound cryptic, our fear is an emotion which doesn’t mean that it’s a true reflection of what is happening. Look for the facts in any situation. Analyse them, study them and use them to develop new ideas, strategies and plans on which to base your decisions and move forward.

Plan: Without a plan, you’ll have no idea where you are going or what you’re trying to achieve. Write it down in detail. Think about why, what, how, when, and who to develop a strategy to get to your goal. You’ll need to think about every eventuality and create contingency plans to adapt, pivot and reassess as you grow. Your plan will give you the confidence and the purpose to deal with every unknown and remain in control of the situation even when things do quite go to plan.

Be brave: You can’t control everything. Even if you’ve planned for it, there will be times you need to use your instinct and go with your gut. As a business owner, use your experience and knowledge of the industry to make informed decisions and take a risk.

Accountability: Having a mentor or peer group, you can share ideas with can be invaluable. Bouncing, sharing and sounding ideas off like-minded individuals is a great way to gain insight and clarity on your business. Create some accountability with one another and plan regular meetings or calls to avoid procrastination.

Confidence: A positive mental attitude can make the difference between success and failure. Ignore negative thoughts and overcome them with productive and actionable tasks. Being confident in yourself and your abilities takes practice, so you might have to fake it until you make it, but once you start to see your business grow through the changes you’re making; nothing and no one can stop you.

Starting the Evolution
When you’re a business owner, your job is to lead so that others may follow. You can’t be an expert in all things, and you don’t have time to try. Remember the adage- working on your business, not in it? It’s time to delegate and automate, but first, you need to find the experts who can help you.

Finding the Right Partner
Leveraging your network is the ideal way to find trusted experts who can help you move the business forward with technology. Outsourcing can be a great way to take advantage of another person’s expertise without having to employ them full-time.

Technology is great when it works but costly and time-consuming when it doesn’t. So, don’t waste either on half measures and taking risks with inadequate tech solutions. Finding the right solution for your business may take a little time, and you’ll need expert advice but if done well, it will translate into increased productivity, efficiency and profit.

IT Specialists: Technology can be a minefield if you don’t know what you need or how to implement it. It’s easy to get it wrong and not so easy to resolve. A tech specialist will work with you to understand your processes, systems and goals then develop the right plan for you. They will ensure that everything is connected, linked and works in symbiosis while creating a seamless and smooth transition for you, your employees and your customers.

Teamwork: The right IT specialist will have a team on hand to support you before, during and after your transition to a great tech solution. A remote but attentive team will be able to mitigate risks, execute the implementation and keep your new systems running smoothly in the future. Be sure to consider regular updates, security and the ongoing needs of your business when appointing a specialist tech partner.

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Warren Buffett

Before you part with a substantial amount of money for a tech solution, let’s consider looking at things from a different perspective: Is RM250 a little or a lot? Well, it depends on what you’re paying for. For example: If you pay RM250 to check your tyre pressure it’s a lot but, if you pay RM250 for a new tyre then it’s a bargain.

Our perceived value is dependent on the merit or benefits that we attribute to something, so when we consider technology, why do we always think the cost is a barrier?

Investment: Let’s think about purchasing a new RM1500 computer program for each of your five employees. That’s a substantial COST, right? But what if each of those employees delivered sales of over RM3000 in the first month of using the program. Then you’d consider your COST a high RETURN ON INVESTMENT.

Stop thinking about cost and start to think about investment in your people, your business and your future.

Opportunities for Growth
As our world continues to transform so can you and your business. Understanding and overcoming the fears which once held you back will enable you to see the opportunities within your industry rather than the obstacles.

Working through the process of a digital transformation can be daunting, exciting and challenging. Still, with a trusted partner by your side, you can embrace the future with confidence and clarity, knowing that the decisions and investments you make are based on sound and reliable advice.

Using technology positively and with purpose means that your business will be able to adapt to change quickly and efficiently while remaining agile in an ever-changing business landscape.

Make technology your investment for future growth today. Ready to digitalise your business? Contact us and let’s break your fear!