Tech Lessons From Baseball: Making Spend Meet Performance

Few sports have a tendency to spare no expense on player salaries than the great American pastime – baseball. Similarly, many businesses will be taking the limits of their tech budgets in the coming years as digital services become more important to getting ahead in business.

But just like there’s little correlation between a franchise’s spend on player salaries and its MLB ranking, those spending millions a year on technology may not be getting the full return on their investment due to a lack of stated goals.

Consider the story of Billy Beane, the famous general manager featured in Moneyball, who eventually boost the Oakland A’s regular season standing up to fifth in the nation despite having the 24th (out of 30 teams) lowest payroll during his time with the team. Beane found that success relies on considering the right variables, creating a team and ignoring statistics that had no true impact. Businesses should emulate Beane as they consider the many tech options available in 2016.

Define Success First. Then Consider Budget.

Just ask government agencies how line-item budgeting is working for them, and you’ll understand how budget-centric planning creates inefficiencies and unnecessary purchases.

Private companies can’t afford the same mistakes. Even in a booming economy, cash flow is limited, and businesses must be able to do more with less. So instead of considering the “premium” service, a business should start considering what they actually need. That means defining success first and budget later. A business should identify what’s necessary to reach its goals, and then start planning the spend around those variables.

In other words, don’t get trapped into an idea after a budget has already been made. There made be an alternative. For example, many businesses are looking at being ready for future growth. Potentially, that includes looking at new office space, but the rise of teleworking and remote collaboration can help curb the need for more square feet.

Create a Team, not a Computer Lab

A business should be much more concerned with productivity and profit margins before it takes a look at collaborative tech. Sometimes, the tech is necessary to reach those goals, but adopting new technology should never be the end-goal.

A business can have all the technology in the world, but that doesn’t mean workers will use the technology to be productive. Just like Beane worked to create a cohesive team instead of a bunch of individual hot shots, a business will want to think about creating systems and training employees for collaboration before any individual starts pushing a new piece of tech.

Find the Right Variables

Shiny and fancy new technology tend to gather headlines and take over social media feeds. Businesses don’t need these distractions from success. They need to ensure that their next UC or VoIP solution will increase the metrics that matter the most. If a newly purchased technology is not fulfilling these KPIs, then it’s not worth a business’s time.

Application of baseball tactics to business can land a few home runs for those considering UC solutions. Whether through defining success or considering services as the roadmap toward new opportunities, companies can ensure that any new tech will be used for what it was intended.

If you’d like a second opinion on your UC plans or investment strategy, give Select’s team of solution specialists a call!