SMEs who embrace new technologies in 2015 are facilitating new ways of working which achieve increased productivity and revenue.
Technology has had an enormous impact on business. It’s changed the way we work and the way we communicate, it’s transformed customer service and it’s given birth to entirely new industries. More than anything, well-chosen technologies have boosted business productivity. Here are five great examples.
1. Flexible working
Flexible working is all about working in the best locations and at the most suitable times, rather than expecting everybody to do the same hours in the same location. For some that might mean working at home, connecting to the office systems over superfast broadband. For others it might mean working on the move, taking advantage of 4G mobile broadband to stay connected and using a tablet to replace essential paperwork. Flexible working offers a better work/life balance, makes more efficient use of office space, boosts motivation, and can improve customer service too.
2. Out of the office no longer means out of touch
With mobile broadband now delivering genuinely useful data speeds, your office network can extend to almost anywhere – and that includes your customers’ premises. That means your employees can always access the most up-to-date knowledge, data, media and documents they need in the field, something that’s as beneficial to engineers and support technicians as it is to salespeople.
3. Better ways to communicate
Forget playing telephone tag and undertaking tiring journeys. Broadband and leased line providers deliver connections so fast that high-quality video conferencing with multiple people is a reliable and sensible alternative to business travel. Also, email, messaging, picture messaging, group chat, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services and social media make it easy to communicate with colleagues and customers in whichever way, and at whatever time, best suits.
4. The data you need, when you need it
Data used to be hard to get hold of: useful data tended to stay locked away in folders and in filing cabinets, and later on individual users’ computers. The arrival of cloud computing has changed all of that. Information or documents held in one part of an organisation can now be shared instantly, effortlessly and safely with other parts of the organisation via the cloud. That’s been a particular boon for applications such as Customer Relationship Management software, which use multiple data sources to build up a comprehensive picture of customers’ histories and requirements. It has also enabled webinars and online training delivery.
5. Different strokes for different folks
The days of one size fits all in IT are long gone, with acronyms such as BYOD – bring your own device – commonplace as tech becomes more personal. With robust device management systems in place, organisations can employ multiple devices and operating systems. This enables employees to use the technology that works best for them without jeopardising the organisation’s systems or security. Massively reduced hardware and training costs are a key benefit here, but the personalisation of IT also results in happier, more motivated and more productive employees, whose work doesn’t stop completely when they leave the building.
- Is one of your strategic aims to boost productivity?
- Would more flexible working benefit your business?
- What new technologies have you introduced in your business over the past two years?
- Have you considered 4G for mobile email/back office access?
- Could your business benefit from improved information sharing via the cloud?