Should Your Design Agency Always Have the Latest Technology?

Today, you see businesses heavily invested in technology to keep up with the pace of the latest developments in their industry. Technology is an ever-changing sector that takes shape in new forms each day. Without investment, businesses would likely fail due to the competition and an inability to serve customers. Therefore, technology creates various opportunities for you and your clients. In addition, you’re likely to see a rise in positions such as Chief Technology Officers, Chief Innovation Officers and Chief Data Officers in creative industries. There is even a growing debate that these types of roles will eventually overrule the importance of the Chief Marketing Officer. Even though design agencies aren’t typically part of this conversation, it makes you wonder whether your design agency should always have the latest technology.  

What Does Technology Have To Do With Your Design Agency?

Your clients are likely preparing to become more technologically savvy. Therefore, design agencies must advise clients on the latest digital tools to enhance their work.  While not every design agency needs a CTO, they still should keep track of the latest technology and learn about them. However, that doesn’t mean you should always invest in the latest developments.  

Why Design Agencies Shouldn’t Always Invest In the Latest Technology

Design agencies with in-house digital specialists have always proven to be valuable assets. But when transitioning to the latest digital technologies, an unsuitable investment could result in poor services. New technology can be disruptive to your business. In return, you could receive a lower ROI and damage your agency’s reputation. Innovative technology always comes and goes. Investing in the latest technologies won’t always improve your business or client’s brand strategy. That’s why continuous investments can be a waste of time.  Instead, it would be best if you took long-term approaches to new technologies rather than jumping onto the next bandwagon. When you think long-term, you can focus more on your efforts regarding design. That way, you have the upper hand in specializing in tech niches. With that being said, here are a few strategies to consider when investing in the latest innovative technology.  

Does Using Outdated Technology Limit a Design Agency’s Creative Abilities?

Using outdated technology like cassette tapes could likely limit a design agency’s creative potential, particularly in the field of artistic design. The requirements of today’s digital era necessitate the use of modern tools that allow designers to access new prospects, collaborate efficiently, and produce innovative results. By embracing technological advancements, design agencies are empowered to stretch and expand their creative boundaries, delivering outstanding results for their clients.

Key Strategies To Keeping Up With the Latest Technology

1. Be Committed to Your Investments

Having a team of technology experts in-house is always a good idea for agencies. It gives them the advantage of improving their client’s workflow with resourceful tech. Yet, it also assists them in overseeing the technological landscape as a whole. They may be well-versed in the latest digital trends and can focus on helping your client’s audiences. However, they’re also wise to see the real value in something. Plus, they are likely to prevent you from making another unwise investment. If you don’t have a team of experts, ensure you’re aware of the latest tech trends. Once you invest in something of value, be committed to it and avoid switching to the next one.

2. Embody It Into Your Culture

Transitioning to a new technology takes time. Therefore, you must make it part of your agency’s workflow.  Most importantly, you should avoid isolating your tech as an extra offering. Instead, it would help if you integrated your offering into every touchpoint.  Consider looking within your company. You may have people whose personal interests are in the latest technology. Embrace this by allowing people to discover them through free events. In other words, put your people first before championing new technologies.

3. Navigate Successfully

Investing in the latest platforms can be challenging to navigate successfully. However, brands need to engage with their design agency early into the brief to achieve a coherent approach.  Therefore, agencies should avoid waiting until the client briefing to get involved. They need to let the in-house specialists give the client options before imposing solutions on your behalf.    

Why Design Agencies need to Immerse Themselves in the Tech World

Design is no longer an afterthought for many businesses. If you’re addressing a business problem through only the lens of technology, you won’t render a sustainable solution. Designs are an integral part of problem-solving — many interact with more of them in their daily technological lives.  For example, usability and interactivity are more critical in determining the product’s success and the overall user experience. To ensure your design agency enhances the connection between your clients and consumers, always foster collaboration between your digital specialists and design teams. Many software projects have ended prematurely because the focus is more on the tech than the usability. Think of design before integrating the right technology to achieve the desired outcome. Secondly, your design team needs to participate in conversations that will familiarize themselves with user habits, perceptions and behaviors. Therefore, designers should consider the client’s business goals to bring an integrated approach or multidisciplinary element. Lastly, you could consider prototyping a product before building one. Doing this gives you wiggle room to make changes so you can achieve the desired outcome. As a result, you’re taking a design-first approach, enabling you to build your tech after incorporating the changes.   

Integrating Design and Technology Is the Future

Design agencies will always trump the marketing and branding world as long as they emerge as tech-savvy leaders. As a result of continuing to apply shifts and technological advances, they can focus on strengthening their businesses and enhancing their services. Essentially, they’ll thrive on change and continue to deliver greater value to their clients. Remember, technology is always advancing. However, investing in the latest trends is not always a great idea.  Continue to stick with your digital solutions and only make an investment if it provides true value to your clients and your business.  Eleanor Hecks is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.

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