Business

Smart Technology Investments: Ingenology

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Five sure bets for Kansas City businesses shopping for new technology in an age of over-choice. This episode: Ingenology.

The emotional angst that comes with purchasing new technology for personal use is something most individuals have experienced at one time or another. Imagine, then, the stress and difficulty of making similar investment decisions for an entire company.

The process represents a significant investment in both time and capital for both small to medium-sized businesses and corporate giants. It is a complex process, navigating the research, acquisition, transition and success tracking phases of a smart technology investment.

Several area companies have travelled the path successfully and bring unique perspectives for making it work for others in all industries.

Ingenology of Kansas City

Mike Wilson, president of Kansas City’s Ingenology

While not all smart technology acquisitions are software related, the decision-making process is often similar. Mike Wilson, president of Ingenology, recalls the steps his firm took for its biggest technology investment – the addition of solar energy for its building.

“The impetus was the rising cost of energy,” Wilson says. “Kansas City offers an energy buyback program. We looked into our use and our costs and we realized we had a payback of less than 10 years. People just live in the moment and don’t really factor in what the cost of energy will be 10 years from now. For us, the ROI was worth the investment.”

A monumental decision and financial investment for Ingenology, it is no surprise the company spent six months evaluating the switch. Ingenology began by asking itself how the change would benefit the company and how much more income it would generate going forward.

Ingenology looked at not only the cost, but also the impact to its business during installation. The company then moved forward in discussions with what Wilson calls, “mutual beneficial relationships,” or trusted advisors, who steered them in the right direction. Site visits and bids followed, and today, Wilson says Ingenology is confident it made the right decision. Ingenology uses a dashboard management tool to track its success. Fortunately, he says, switching to solar energy provides a very clear cut ROI.

“When something is less of a big impact, such as smaller technology tools, we iterate a lot,” Wilson says. “Sometimes, however, you have to invest in trying things out. We do that with affordable risks. You just have to go off a gut feel.”

Many times, the biggest barrier to investing in new technology, Wilson says, is fear. Companies fear change and lack either the confidence or the data to make a decision.

“Be comfortable investing in things that will make you more efficient. Pull the trigger and be comfortable with being wrong,” he says. “Also, no matter what your investment is, things change. A decision you made 15 years ago may not be the right decision now or five years from now.”