Nine Ways Business Leaders Can Keep Up With Industry-Wide Tech Changes

Leaning on a a team or a network of knowledgeable peers can help leaders maintain a finger on the pulse of recent tech trends.

Regardless of what industry your business operates in, keeping up with changes in technology is essential for remaining competitive. Leaders know how important it is to maintain knowledge bases, but with all the work that goes into running and maintaining a business, it can be difficult to continuously learn about new innovations with a hectic schedule.

Technology can change in the blink of an eye, so a leader needs to adopt a process to ensure their own knowledge and the knowledge of their employees remains as updated as possible. Below, a panel of Newsweek Expert Forum members each offer one recommendation for business leaders interested in staying on top of the latest trends in tech.

Collaborate With Knowledgeable Staff Members

Dedicate consistent time and energy into collaborating with the most senior engineers and subject matter experts (SMEs) in your organization. Be aware of customer issues, concerns and questions—no matter how small. Creating innovative solutions isn’t just about responding to change, but anticipating it as well. That requires an ongoing conversation and relationship with your employees, leaders and customers. – Umang Modi, TIAG, Inc.

Bring Experts Into Decision Making

Technology is no longer an IT or IS function alone. It’s organization-wide, so get the right decision makers at the table with a clear understanding of the problem and your business goals to solve it. Avoid jumping headfirst into a technology solution. Be patient and stay grounded in operational realities to limit wasted expenses, maximize ROI and, ultimately, drive change. – Alistair Fulton, Semtech

Hire the Right IT Talent

If you can, hire the right IT people. They make a huge difference in your business with regard to using the best tech for the most appropriate purpose, streamlining processes and making your business more efficient and profitable. Ignoring developments in technology puts you at a competitive disadvantage. At the same time, jumping too quickly into a new technology may have the same effect. – Paul Miller, Miller & Company LLP

Conduct an Annual Review of Your Technology

In every area of your business, it’s wise to have an annual review of your current technology stack and to compare it to other options. Things change so quickly in technology that your business may fall behind simply because you’ve taken for granted that your vendors will keep up with the times. That’s a blind spot you need to correct. –Scott Baradell, Idea Grove

Read Trusted Industry Publications

One of the simplest ways to to keep up with changes in technology is to subscribe to—and read—trusted publications on tech. Two of my favorites are Wired and TechCrunch. Find the resources that best deliver the industry trends you’re looking to stay on top of and spend an hour each day reading through the advancements that matter most to you! – Brooke Sellas, B Squared Media, LLC

Sign Up for Curated Newsletters

I’m a big proponent of finding specific newsletters on subject matter and signing up for them. Then all of the hard work is done for you with the latest tips curated and delivered directly to your inbox. Another great idea is asking your peers what they subscribe to. They will be happy to share! – Chris Tompkins, The Go! Agency

Join Online Talks and Webinars

Besides the usual networking and news feeds, I like to tune into online talks and webinars to stay current on industry changes. These talks are usually real time in terms of what is changing in the industry. It’s simple and easy to sign up and attend them as many professionals and organizations will advertise their talks in a LinkedIn post usually within a week or less of the event. – Margie Kiesel, Avaneer Health

Attend Trade Shows

I stay on top of new ideas in technology by attending many trade shows. For over 35 years, this has been the heart of where I learn to implement new things to make my business run smoother and more efficiently. – Tammy Sons, Tn Nursery

Hold Monthly Meetings to Review Industry Changes

Meet with your IT team or CTO monthly and seek from them the most relevant changes in technology that you should be aware of. This will make it so that you’re not having to play catch up and so that your people don’t begin to lose their confidence and respect for you not staying current. – Mark Goulston, Mark Goulston, M.D., Inc.

Previously published on Newsweek.