Is “choice paralysis” holding back your businesses digital transformation?17 May 2019 | by Vittorio Menichelli
Know you need to digitise to grow your business but feel overwhelmed by too many technology choices? You’re not alone: we explain the reason behind choice paralysis, and why and how to overcome it.
Too much information can be overwhelming and result in no action at all. Many Australian businesses are missing out on the benefits of the digital revolution because they struggle to make decisions about the best way forward.
This is a problem because embracing digital technology drives competitive advantage. For example, digital transformation can help manufacturers streamline production, automate supply chain processes, and improve customer experience in the distribution industry.
Delaying your digital transformation means you can’t reap the rewards that come from leveraging technologies—such as cloud-based, enterprise software—to improve business performance, customer experience, and staff retention.
What is choice paralysis and why does it affect digital transformation decisions?
Psychologist and author Barry Schwartz is well-known for his work on the paradox of choice: that an abundance of choice doesn’t make us freer, but more paralysed. “With so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all,” Schwartz argues.
Too many choices can cause confusion, anxiety and regret—and it’s made even more difficult in a digital age with expansive access to information, services, and e-commerce channels.
Choice or analysis paralysis can affect all kinds of decisions: but decisions that require a significant investment or will disrupt the status quo can be especially tricky.
We see this a lot when people start thinking about Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions. Usually, the company is growing quickly and all the signs indicate that current systems are inadequate.
But the metamorphosis feels daunting. How do you go from a mix of paper-based systems, spreadsheets, and disparate, entry-level software, to comprehensive digital systems that give you visibility across every part of your operation?
Browsing the internet can prompt more questions than answers. Which sources can you trust? Which solutions will cater to what you need now and what you’ll likely need as you grow? How do you ensure your business is getting value for money?
It’s easy to become frustrated by the sheer number of possibilities, or too caught up in the potential consequences of making the wrong choice.
Committing to digital transformation boosts business performance
Companies all around the world are facing the same dilemma about how to position themselves to compete in a more global, digital business environment.
Deloitte released a report in January this year on how leaders are navigating the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, which revealed that the top two challenges were:
- Lack of vision on the part of leadership.
- Too many technology choices.
It also showed that organisations with leaders who were more willing to face the challenge of long-term technological change were growing faster and more confidently.
Closer to home, research on the digital readiness of Australian SMEs by ANZ revealed that many business owners struggle to get started because of the complex nature of tools and the breadth of options available.
More than half the businesses surveyed were dismissive or tentative about engaging with digital—and these businesses also reported the lowest average revenue earned per employee. On the other hand, businesses that were confidently embracing digitisation were making productivity and revenue gains.
Business leaders that implement more integrated, advanced digital systems to run their business will stand apart from their competitors. They’ll also have the upper hand as further technological changes emerge.
How to overcome analysis paralysis and make confident decisions about digitisation
These are four key ideas for overcoming choice paralysis to help you determine which technologies will make a meaningful difference to your business:
- Prioritise the decision: Be honest. If embracing digital systems is vital to your future success, commit to making a decision and give yourself a deadline.
- Create criteria: Define the goals you have for digitisation, your essential functional/technological requirements, and the resources you have to facilitate the change. Use this to create a high-level list of criteria you can use to narrow your options from the outset.
- Break decisions into smaller steps: Making decisions in stages reduces the pressure on each choice, and helps you avoid being distracted by insignificant details.
- Get qualified advice and support: You don’t make these kinds of decisions every day, but technology consultants do. Draw on the experience of a trusted, reliable expert.
Don’t delay a digital transformation that could make or break your business
Being able to leverage technology is a business imperative. If you allow yourself to be stalled due to choice paralysis, the repercussions for your business can be severe.
Modern businesses that expect to grow, need the scalability of cloud computing, and more integrated business management approaches, configured to their unique needs. That’s why ERP solutions that offer end-to-end insight and control are a key aspect of the digital transformations undertaken by many leading SMEs.
The decision to implement an ERP solution requires forethought, but if you’re being held back by silos of information, inefficient workarounds, or outdated legacy systems, the time to take action is well overdue.
Talk to our highly experienced and awarded team about transforming your systems with a unified ERP solution. Call 1300 045 046 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vittorio Baiocchi Menichelli is Marketing Manager at Leverage Technologies. Leverage Technologies helps companies streamline their operations and increase efficiency through the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other cloud-based solutions. Vittorio is passionate about all things marketing, tech and innovation. His goal is to help Australian small and mid-sized enterprises to discover, understand and choose the right technology to drive new efficiencies and grow smart.