The Business Of Our Business is an article series featured in Rea’s print publication, The Rea Report. The purpose of each article is to provide readers with greater insight into the inner-workings of our firm. To read past articles in this series, please visit www.reacpa.com/business-of-our-business.
How Leveraging Technology Enables Us To Create Efficiencies & Capacity
Computers, the internet, cutting-edge software, artificial intelligence, Blockchain, bots, and other innovations have transformed the way we live and do business. The world we know today is vastly different than the one we knew even 10 years ago and those who don’t embrace change run the risk of becoming obsolete. We’re not taking that risk at Rea. Rather, we’re focused on leveraging technology to improve and enhance our business processes.
The Evaluation Process
When it comes to identifying and implementing changes, there’s a lot to be considered – especially if the decision requires us to determine if, when, and how to deploy new technology. More often than not, the process for evaluating whether a change or a new solution is needed begins with internal angst or pain. From there, we have to decide if addressing the issue
makes financial sense if the technological solution is secure, and how potential solutions will interact with our existing programs. To address these questions and more, we deploy the following measured and strategic approach.
1. Identify Who The Issue Affects
At the management level, we look at our firm as a whole and uncover who the identified issue affects. We’re then able to have a better understanding of the extent of the issue. This also helps us determine whether technology will help us solve the problem.
2. Create A Task Force Comprised OF A Cross-Section Of Employees
Arriving at an optimal solution does not happen in a silo. We create a task force, which includes those affected by the issue, as well as individuals from our operations team, and IT, to evaluate new technology solutions. We believe it’s important to bring in a range of experience and expertise in these types of decisions.
3. Determine What Solutions Exist
Many of our people are intimately involved in industry associations – locally and across the country. We’ve found that many of the best technology providers come from the recommendations we secure as a result of our involvement in these associations. Of course, we also research and study up on solutions in an effort to have a solid grasp of our options before narrowing down our list.
4. Narrow Down The List Of Technology Providers To No More Than Three & Have Demos Of Each
In addition to remote, online demonstrations, we may invite representatives from the top contenders to present their solution in person, which allows us to get a better feel and understanding for the solution (and the company) we are considering.
5. Make Final Decision On Technology Solution
6. Conduct A Training Period With ‘Power Users’
After signing on the dotted line, we line up training for those who will be designated as primary point people during the rollout of new technology – we call them “power users.” Once power users are trained, the technology is rolled out firm-wide, generally using a phased approach.
For Rea, the evaluation process ultimately led us to the decision to launch Robotic Process Automation (RPA). As a business, we want to streamline processes, become more efficient and free up time for our administrative and client-facing staff to work on value-added projects. Partnering with
Kryon to launch “bots” will allow us to do just that.
Selecting a new technology to incorporate into your business is not a decision to take lightly. Be sure to understand what issues your business faces and, from there, determine if there’s a technology that can help alleviate the issues.
And with that: ‘Autobots, roll out!’
By Darrell Williams, chief information officer (Dublin office)