Business technology is important to modern companies. This much is obvious. However, finding, implementing, and maintaining this technology is another story. In other words, you know you need something, but the details might be a little hazy.
So to help you out, here are 7 business technology tips that can grow your company.
Things are cheap for a reason.
From software and hardware to web apps and IT support, it’s never a good idea to choose your technology based primarily on how expensive it is or isn’t. This is because technology has the ability to affect many aspects of your business – from the time it takes you to complete each task to employee morale to the overall customer experience. These are the pieces of your business that will indirectly make you money or cost you money.
In other words, it’s not acceptable to justify passing up certain technologies merely because it’s “X amount of dollars.” You need to contemplate the bigger picture. For example, in terms of man-hours, how much money can you save by using a software that helps you process payments faster? And in terms of client retention, how much money can you make by using self-service technologies that attract more customers and retain these customers for much longer?
Before you make a decision on anything technology-related, consider every angle and go above and beyond the “here and now.”
Big Data is where it’s at.
You should never be content with data that remains data. You should always strive to turn your data into usable, workable information – something you can view, understand, and use to streamline processes, tweak products and services, and improve customer service.
To pull this off, you could always import data into Excel and use pivot tables to analyze it all. But this can be time-consuming and is highly susceptible to human error. Instead, there are a variety of reasonably-priced tools that can accumulate data and make sense of it for you.
For example, a web app like Tableau can pull data from multiple sources (like Excel, Salesforce, or Oracle) and then create visually stunning graphs and charts from this data. It can then show you outliers and trends and help you work through interactive dashboards. At this point, you can make smarter, more strategic business decisions.
We automate things around these parts.
When you automate things like employee portals, tracking and alerting, and document management, you can save money and time, reduce human errors, and drastically improve customer service.
To automate intricate processes, this usually means you’ll need to partner with an IT company that offers a service like workflow automation. However, for processes that are pretty typical for most companies, you can rely on pre-built software.
For example, there are marketing solutions that can automatically push out a series of pre-scheduled marketing emails and then create follow-up campaigns based on your click-through rates. Another example would be an accounting solution that automates anything from invoicing and billing to reporting and payroll.
Manage thy team.
Smart companies will rely on web-based platforms to manage their teams. From communication and collaboration to document sharing and task management, the right platform can do it all. However, to find the right solution for your company, you’ll first need to determine what it is you want most.
For example, a platform like Trello can help your team organize projects and share ideas. A platform like Slack is all about communication. And a platform like Basecamp focuses heavily on task management. Each solution has the ability to pull off collaboration, communication and task management, but they all have their strengths. Figure out what your team needs the most, then run with it.
Here a threat. There a threat. Everywhere a cyber threat.
Sure, a really bad cyber threat or data breach could potentially “destroy” your business. But in most cases, it won’t go that far. However, that doesn’t mean a cyber threat won’t cause some major issues for you and your team.
Even a run-of-the-mill computer virus can cost you a significant chunk of money. Between the downtime, cost to repair, and potential loss of data, there will be a monetary value assigned to it all … as well as a potential ding to your reputation, customer service, and product quality.
Because of this, it’s incredibly important to take cybersecurity seriously. In other words, you need to create a legitimate cybersecurity strategy. This should involve multiple layers of protection, professional assistance, and internal policies, procedures, and training.
Mobility … It’s that good stuff, man.
Mobility has now become a large part of running a modern business. With mobility, not only will you be able to successfully compete with businesses the same size as yours, but you’ll be able to compete with businesses twice your size. However, mobility is a tricky thing.
With the cloud, you can easily achieve scalable, cost-efficient mobility. This will bring you anywhere-anytime access, customizable workflows, and unrestricted collaboration. This being said, you’ll still need to manage the security of it all.
As long as you wrap mobility into your cybersecurity strategy, you should be fine. You’ll need to incorporate aspects such as device-finding apps with remote wipe capabilities and internal policies on what can and cannot be done, accessed, or shared outside of work on personal devices. If you’re going to have mobility (which you should), then you can’t go without a solid cybersecurity strategy.
Get yourself some help.
If you’re serious about technology (which is a must these days), then you need help. You need to partner with an IT company that knows the ins and outs of technology, can provide you with expert guidance, and can keep your technology fully operational.
As an IT Consultant for the Denver Metro area, we can bring you the level of IT support you need to navigate the murky waters of ever-evolving technology. If you’re interested in learning more about our services, then send us a message today. We’d love to chat technology.