Do you ever feel that your business is not doing as well as it could? Are you scared to innovate and adopt new technologies? If so, you are holding your business back. There is nothing you can do to avoid slipping further and further from the top…. Except one thing:
Adopt technologies that will increase your team’s productivity.
There are many, ways your organization can increase productivity using technology. With the advances in computing, data management and automation, we are inching closer to the world that Star Trek envisioned 50 years ago. While we might not have Holodecks, instant transportation, or replicators, the technologies we do have can have a monumental impact on the world as we know it. Instead of focusing on distant, future technologies, let’s take a look at a few ways we could potentially be as productive as the crew of the Enterprise today.
Here are 5 aspects of your business that can be improved with technology solutions.
1. Access to Information
Providing employees access to the necessary information their job requires is an integral part of every business strategy. There are many reasons to ensure your employees have easy access to information. Imagine: you have a corporate intranet, but due to a network malfunction, nobody had access to it. Then, a very important customer calls, needing immediate confirmation of information within your system. What do you do? Tell the client you can’t give them the information because you don’t have it? That’s a bad look for your business.
To avoid that scenario, you need to invest in a more reliable network. This involves a multifaceted approach, investing in security measures, backing up data and constantly improving processes. Your network stability is one of the most important features ensuring your employees have access to essential information.
Access to information will also increase employee engagement and satisfaction. It is frustrating when you can’t access something that you know you need (say, at an offsite meeting, where a potential client asks for something offhand), but the system is not giving you access. Investing in a secure, high-quality VPN will ensure that no matter where your employees are, they have access to the network.
In addition to ensuring employees have the ability to access information around the clock, you can reduce frustration (and save time) by having all your systems in one secure location. They will no longer be bouncing between systems, trying to find the information they need. Everything they need to do their jobs will be right at their fingertips.
Your employees will be able to better service your customers, have an easier time being mobile and avoid frustration if you invest in technology that makes it easier to access information. Your customers will have a better experience and overall productivity will increase.
2. Availability Anytime (and Anywhere)
The knowledge economy is robust. Many jobs can be done from anywhere. Technology has allowed us to turn anywhere with Wifi into an impromptu office. By investing in a VPN, you may allow employees to work from wherever they will be most comfortable, if you so choose. This can lead to a huge increase in productivity, simply because employees are more satisfied when given the option to work where they want.
Another way you can make your employees more accessible, regardless of where they are, is by not tying them down to a specific, company provided piece of hardware.
A popular policy regarding technological devices is: “Bring-your-own-device” (BYOD). BYOD enables your employees to use their own computers, phones or tablets for work. This will increase your employees familiarity with their devices, allowing for more efficient work. Employees are more likely to be productive if they have access to their own phone, tablet, or computer. 49% of employees say they are more productive using their own devices. People are also more likely to be able to successfully troubleshoot their own devices, reducing the amount of work IT needs to do. Added productivity, plus the savings from not having to purchase devices, makes this solution worth pursuing.
Technology can make employees more readily available is by offering a video conferencing solution for their phones and computers. This will reduce the amount of travelling needed for business purposes. A video conferencing solution can eliminate any offsite meetings. Travel is often expensive and inefficient. Simply by upgrading your video conferencing solution will increase your productivity, keeping people in the office, being productive.
A third method to increase productivity in the workplace using technology, is by boosting productivity with a collaboration suite or software. A collaboration suite, such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, or G-Suite, are meant to provide an all-in-one environment where team members can discuss, plan and execute workflows. These programs have all the necessary tools in one place, where all relevant parties have access to them.
These tools can increase productivity in a number of ways. First and foremost, they help employees communicate about projects. Some people are uncomfortable speaking up in person, but in a chat-like environment, they will be less anxious about sharing their thoughts. Another way these collaboration suites can increase productivity are by minimizing meetings. Meetings are one of the biggest drains of time in business. 15% of an organization’s total time spent attending and preparing for meetings.
By introducing collaboration suites to your business, you can eliminate unnecessary meetings where an email (or short conversation) would suffice. You can save plenty of time (and money), while motivating employees to communicate more, even if that communication is online.
4. Customer Service
The fourth way you can increase your organization’s productivity is by linking your CRM solution to your employees devices. By giving your employees easy, automatic access (when needed) to customer information, it reduces time wasted searching for that information. This, in turn, increases customer satisfaction because they now have to wait less time to have their problem solved. Several methods to link your CRM to your network exist, through an intranet, a company portal or other custom solutions.
Over 60% of CMOs admit that they aren’t utilizing available data to its full potential. A CRM can change that. The more an employee knows about a customer, the better (and faster) they can solve their problem. This will naturally increase your productivity, with the added bonus of happier customers..
5. Long-Term Plan
Another way you can increase productivity using technology is by creating a long-term technological plan. Some businesses call it a roadmap, others call it an evolution. Simply the effects of having a succession plan for technologies in use can greatly increase productivity.
As hardware becomes obsolete, and software stops being maintained, technologies can quickly become useless. That’s why it’s important to have both a long-term and short-term plan for replacing and updating technologies.
The first benefit of planning a technology change is that it minimizes the chance that the change grinds everything to a standstill. People need to be trained on new machines, they need to get used to using them and the new machines take time to install. By planning out the change, you can begin to train people on the new technologies, implementing the solution piece-by-piece until it is fully in place. This planning and slow implementation ensures that if there are any issues, they can be sorted out before fully implementing the new solution. Having a long-term plan also raises employee excitement about the technology, as they have to wait for it to be slowly rolled out, creating a level of suspense.
If there is no succession plan in place, two things will happen:
Hardware will begin to malfunction and lose its usefulness to your business before it gets replaced.
When the change does come, it will involve forcing everybody on to new technology at the same time. If it does not work, your entire business will be impacted.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of ways you can use technology to increase your business’ productivity. The topics covered today are suggestions as to how you can use technology to make your business more productive.