How Digital Can Transform Your Business
As a business owner and to run a successful business in today’s climate, you need to be up to date with the latest technology. This can be difficult to do as technology is continuously changing and developing, once you think you have the latest another version comes onto the market thus making yours outdated. However, just because it is a fast-paced industry and challenging to keep up doesn’t mean you should ignore these advancements altogether. There are considerable benefits in adopting technology within your business and going digital, and if you’re unsure on the ways it can benefit you in your business, what’s right for you and how to implement new technology, then you should hire a professional to give you advice and help you to transform your business.
The use of technology in business means that you’ll be able to operate your business more efficiently. Digitising your business files makes it far easier to find documents quickly when you need them, it is easier to customise documents and re-create or duplicate documents using a template.
Cloud Computing is affecting the way we use technology daily as it means you can centralise your information database and you can access it through your laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other Internet-abled device. However, despite its benefits, many companies are yet to adopt cloud computing and are missing out on the ways it could improve their products and services. Cloud computing technology allows the entire workforce to connect and access the data, functionality, or any other material they need.
Emails have meant that communication is now instant and negotiations can be had with documents being sent back and forth which saves time and travel expenses. More advanced than that are wireless conference rooms. Every small or large company needs to have a space for meetings and to discuss things confidentially with people or deliver messages to a team. Nowadays, many companies are adopting a wireless solution for meetings that connects offices, team members and clients, no matter their location. This kind of technology allows companies to stream videos and presentations across various conference rooms wirelessly.
The internet has allowed customers to access information about your company and your offering via your website and request information from you any time they wish to. However, the Internet of Things which includes smart lights and connected security cameras also consists of a wide range of consumer-facing technologies which companies can and should take advantage of. IoT devices such as connected sensors and cameras can monitor productivity and efficiency, and as the IoT grows within the business world, it will speed up employee mobility; allowing team members to be more productive—no matter their location in the world.
Data collection has become far easier with software programmes which can collect information and interpret and analyse your customers and predict your business patterns like never before. This has meant that people are wasting less product as they can forecast sales far more accurately, it has given businesses a far better insight of their customers and can record everything from client information to follow-up calendars to buying history. This has meant better and more efficient client relationships and ultimately better customer service.
Social media has also allowed businesses to gain a better insight into their customers, to see what they are talking about, what kinds of content they like to read about and which offers they appreciate.
While technology has meant that there has been an increase in data breaches and hacking, technology can also protect company information and mostly it is a lot safer than not having it. Digital security is essential in any company today, without it, hackers can interrupt your business operations and cost your company thousands, as well as giving you a bad reputation.
There is more to security technology than just firewalls and anti-virus software; there is also digitally linked security systems which can protect your business from vandalism and theft. You can get systems which provide real-time alerts and can provide diversion tactics such as alarms. Some systems also give business owners a way to speak directly to vandals from a remote location via phone, informing intruders that they are on camera and identified.
So, that’s the business running efficiently and protected from thieves, but what about your employees? While there is the time and expense involved in buying and training your staff on new technology and software, overall it will save you on both time and money. You can monitor your staff with software that tracks customer service call times, or you can monitor speed and GSP tracking of drivers. There is also technology that can automatically track sales numbers and potential sales, which will give managers control and give a better foresight of what is going on in the business so that you can make changes before it’s too late and steer things in the right direction.
Different businesses have different needs, but wherever your business can automate a process, it can often save you financially. Whether it’s staying in touch with customers, tracking packages for delivery, or noting miles driven by delivery truck drivers, if you can automate anything in your business, it can usually improve accuracy and efficiency plus save you time and money.
The government has put some initiatives in place to keep business up to date, for example, the government’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) initiative means that UK businesses will need to store digital records and submit updates to HMRC using recognised accounting software. To comply with this, you will need to invest in making tax digital software, so while you’re doing that it is an opportunity to have a look and see what other software could benefit your business.
There are many automated training programmes available now or online education centres which make it easier for you to train your employees and also decreases the cost as these programmes often allow your staff to repeat modules, take their time and accommodate more users at no extra training costs.
Productivity Software can also develop the relationship and communication between the management and their teams within your business. This kind of software allows you to centrally locate your performance appraisal information within a formal online framework, which means that managers can communicate business strategy more efficiently and create measurable goals for their employees that support the overall company objectives. This software also allows for greater visibility, which will enable your employees to see the what’s going on within the business and understand better how each goal fit into the company’s objectives, thus creating energised and engaged employees which raise the business productivity of the company.
Technology can also connect teams virtually within the company, not just in conference rooms as mentioned earlier but with employee portals, instant messengers and team sites, this can help people to work productively across your organisation no matter where they are or what team they’re in. Employees can utilise the technology to enable them to reach out to other colleagues who are working on similar projects or find experts to answer their questions throughout the organisation.
Advancements in technology can also be used to motivate your employees by using online performance evaluation programmes. These allow managers to compare their employees current skills with those that are needed for promotions or to look at other recognition or reward opportunities as they track the progress of their employee goals throughout the year. You can also monitor business productivity and employee progress on goals via online business productivity software solutions which will enable you to track progress during every phase of goal completion more efficiently and offer immediate coaching or redirection and support to keep performance and deadlines on track.
Utilising this technology can lead your business to higher productivity because your company will be filled with a workforce of people who are continually learning new skills and being challenged to do their very best which ultimately makes them work harder as they are alert, motivated, and happy. Make sure you encourage your staff by rewarding them for their successes, using both monetary and non-monetary incentives.
You don’t need to get new software for everything, and you don’t have to know what it all does, but take some time to think about your needs and speak to your staff about what would make their lives easier and their days more efficient too. Once you have a list of things you need, then you can assess what resources are available and work out your priorities and the costs. While some software may look pricey, it may save you a lot of money in the long run, so it’s really worth doing your sums to work this out.
There is no way of knowing exactly how technology will affect your business or your workforce. However, it is vital to be aware of advancements in technology in your industry and to respond to them before your competitors do. If you need to adopt a new strategy, then look at how you can leverage emerging software that can add to the productivity and success of your business.