Giving a team the best technology for staying switched on and working to optimum productivity can give even the best managers a few night terrors every now and again.

Halloween or not, there can be a few horrors behind the wrong tech decisions, whether that’s people mothballing a work phone in favour of their own one or struggling to produce reports on a tablet. The wrong decision can be a very expensive one. All the enthusiasm in the world from the IT team won’t help if people can’t or won’t make the most of the tech provided to them.

To take away the fear of under or over equipping people, choosing the wrong devices and wasting an investment, there are some sensible steps every business can take to make sure their decision is the right one:

Survey everyone

Start by establishing what people’s roles involve, where and how they fulfil these and what kind of tech they may find most useful. Use Survey Monkey or a similar free research tool.

How mobile are people? Do they need to be in touch away from the office, produce documents on the move or access work apps remotely? Are they usually in a noisy or quiet environment, or wear gloves that would make a touch screen more tricky?

Find out what technology people currently use, at home and work, plus which operating systems, such as iOS or Microsoft Windows, they are familiar with. It could be worth finding out what devices they’d prefer to use, given a choice. That doesn’t mean wild promises of bespoke devices for every person but will show that individual preferences are being considered.

Do they need a bigger tablet sized screen or would a small phone sized one suffice? What are their key tasks away from their desk and what kind of tech would best assist with these?

Get into groups

Once you have the details on who does what, where and how, group people according to their IT needs in terms of role, mobility, location and likely usage. This should give you a broader overview and an understanding of the varying needs at a more global level.

Add on apps

Think about the kind of apps the business uses, or could use, to help streamline communication and lift performance. A new suite of devices equipped with cloud-based apps can bring a considerable opportunity for everyone to work more easily and generate improvements across the board. Research what apps are out there, what would work for your business and which devices will mostly easily accommodate these.

Back up batteries

Consider the usage of any mobile devices. Find out how long people are out and about for and add the battery life of the shortlisted tech into your decision making. Back up batteries could be a worthwhile decision so factor in the cost of these.

Getting tech right doesn’t need to be tricky, but understanding who and what you’re catering for is key. For more information on technology at VOW please contact your VOW account manager or visit