Learning to See Technology as an Investment Rather than a CostBy Gabriela Mastache | Mon, 04/06/2020 - 11:48
Despite the rapid evolution of the technology tools that can make business operations more efficient, Tristan Martínez, CEO of Alset, says there are still many companies that perceive technology as an expense rather than an investment in their growth. “Changing this mindset has been particularly difficult among SMEs and traditional companies,” he says.
Alset, a Mexican company that sees itself as a software factory, specializes in the creation and implementation of IT tools to improve process infrastructure. Its solutions range from the creation of digital content to the development of solutions related to the cloud, Big Data and IoT. Alset has a product for every type of company, although Martínez acknowledges that SMEs need the most help in this regard. “Most large companies already have an IT department, so they hire us as consultants. SMEs, on the other hand, need more help in terms of digital transformation solutions.”
The lack of experience among SMEs in IT implementations should mean the market is ripe with opportunities. However, Martínez says openness toward new technology solutions and eagerness to implement them depends heavily on the type of industry and client. “With younger generations it tends to be easier because they have had more access to other technology-based tools. Whenever we show them the type of projection their company might have, they become interested. With people that are not that accustomed to technology, the process is slower and we have to apply a different approach,” he says.
As hard as the convincing process might be, Martínez says once companies start seeing results they become eager to implement new processes and solutions. “Our job is to offer them a roadmap regarding where they are and where they can be. We guide them and help them every step of the way.” The advantage is that once companies take the first step, they can start gathering data that can pave the way for future improvements. “Once companies start managing more information, we can start using Big Data tools and eventually start automating many processes.”
Martínez says that many companies lack automated processes that could make their operations run smoothly. “Companies waste a lot of time in processes that could be easily automated. It is a very common practice in Mexico.” Similarly, companies often need tools that help provide a fast and efficient real-time communication channel with clients. “Although many companies have contact information on their website or the option to fill out a form to ask for information, they do not realize that many clients are not willing to send an email and wait for an answer. They want an immediate response.”
To maintain an efficient and real-time communication channel with clients, many companies have chosen to develop apps. “People want to have an app for everything because it makes it easier to perform all the required processes or even communicate,” says Martínez. He cautions, however, that the use of an app might not be the right answer for every business, especially for those that do not have a B2C strategy.
Rather than trying to sell any type of solution, Alset strives to become an ally to its clients, offering tailor-made software and IT solutions backed by a specialized team. “We get involved in projects and try to offer the solutions that best meet our clients’ needs, rather than the solutions that are more convenient for us. We want our clients to perceive us as an ally, rather than as a service supplier,” he says.
Martínez says there is much room for growth for a company with steady results like Alset. “In addition to our IT solutions, we also offer training courses. We want to educate companies on the importance of implementing technology tools and to help them understand why the implementation of new IT solutions is an investment and not an expense.” In the coming years, Alset will focus on expanding its network of allies. “As a service supplier, our objective is to help our clients grow. If they grow, so do we,” he says.