The pros and cons of using technology to innovate business
Business thrives on innovation, and technology is often the driver, delivering fresh ideas, new processes, new data, and new possibilities. And it seems new technologies are being introduced at a rapid-fire pace. It’s easy to see the impact changing from paper to data brings, but harder to measure the impact of upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 10. Making decisions about when to invest in new technology can be very complex. Too fast, and you may end up with something that doesn’t fit your needs; too slow and you can create the perception (or reality!) that your business is behind the times.
But the right technology investment, at the right time, can be a huge game-changer. Business advancements like PCs, tablets, interpersonal organizations, virtual meeting programming, bookkeeping programming, client administration applications, these kinds of technological advancements have uprooted working environment limits and have streamlined processes across all industries.
There are so many ways organizations are utilizing different methods to enhance their business correspondence. These innovations are changing the way their representatives interface at work both with internal and external customers. And these interfaces can also interact with order processing systems to more accurately and efficiently pull up or input data. For instance, workers from different offices, or even different timezones, in an organization, can utilize content sharing platforms like WebEx, video conference tools like Skype, or conference call technology to share and trade data. Screen-sharing technologies can be used for training, collaboration, sales demonstrations and much more. Being ‘on the same page’ in real time allows organizations to make decisions more quickly, reduce travel costs, even reduce overhead by minimizing office space.
Creativity can take form in a number of ways, and technology is again at the forefront. Creative programming can solve business issues, streamline processes, crunch data, manage innovative customer problems and more. And, new technologies such as 3-D printers can significantly increase product development timelines, repairs, new products and customer samples. Modeling software can be utilized to quickly create striking visual images that bring clear pictures of proposals. By creating models, bugs can be discovered, as well as multiple options presented, sparking creative discussion.
Private social networks like Yammer.com can be utilized by representatives to mingle and collaborate with other imaginative representatives from various associations, sparking creativity through shared information and feedback. And with anonymous social media such as reddit.com, expert mentors are available all the time to offer advice, suggestions and creative brainstorming.
Innovation in the working environment can change the way human asset directors carry out their employment processes. Job posting engines such as Monster.com andCareerbuilder.com will integrate with Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) such as UltiPro or PeopleSoft as well as with assessment tools. This allows potential candidates to be tracked from application to hiring, and even through the entirety of their employment. It enhances the procedure of screening, enlisting and procuring new representatives. Innovation can likewise be utilized to track execution and efficiency of every representative at work. This can increase efficiency and enhance compliance to procedure and policies.
For some organizations, moving to the cloud builds open doors for joint effort between workers. Partners can match up and chip away at reports or imparted applications easily, often at the same time, getting redesigns progressively quicker and more accurate.
Furthermore, distributed computing permits every colleague to work from any place. The cloud brings together your information, so you, your workers, and even your customers and suppliers can get to your organization’s key information from any area with Internet access.
Distributed computing diminishes a business’ carbon footprint by more than 30 percent. For small organizations, the diminished utilization can achieve 90 percent—a colossal cash saver. It can likewise help a business venture to present an ecologically solid image. These reductions in carbon footprints are achieved through teleworkers not commuting, going essentially paperless, minimizing office space electric, heating and air conditioning requirements, and reduced travel.
There are variety of ways innovation can distract representatives at work. The utilization of internet and cloud-based systems can be problematic if workers are able to access all parts of the web. The temptation to check in on social media for personal use can be great. As a result, some organizations have chosen to block or limit access to particular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. And the proliferation of smartphones, laptops and tablets also mean individual’s personal devices can be utilized to distract individuals during meeting or during work hours.
It is costly to purchase innovation, and there are ongoing expenses to maintain it. Numerous smaller organizations cannot bear the expense of a full-time specialized individual or team so they fall back on month-to-month tech contract workers. These contractors can charge by job or by hour or by work done. In-house IT may not have all the specialties required to keep up with changing technologies, whereas external contractors may take time to truly understand the business needs. In addition to ongoing maintenance of hardware, databases and the like, it’s important to keep software updates current. These costs also need to factor regular updates of equipment such as servers, PC’s, tablets, smartphones or whatever other business innovations become relevant. Make certain to look at all the expenses for supporting both an in-house server and cloud-based server to see which alternative works best for your circumstance.
When technology handles the majority of the work, workers may become complacent as innovation replaces their need to use problem-solving. And, disgruntled workers have many ways to utilize technology to air internal issues through anonymous websites such as Glassdoor.com.
Representatives whose sole or primary interactions are exclusively by phone, instant messages, email or virtual video conferencing devices can create interpersonal challenges. Because the workers are not getting to know each other in personal ‘over the watercooler’ kinds of conversations, solid working relationships are more difficult to build. And, because neither tone nor body language is conveyed in many of these kinds of communications, misunderstandings or hurt feelings can occur. Creating opportunities for interpersonal interchanges is imperative for building a positive working environment.
Despite all the advantages innovation and technology can bring to the workplace, there are some inherent risks. Issues such as protecting trade secrets, confidential information, business plans and the like are harder to protect when they can be easily copied and shared. Or, the devices carrying the data can be stolen, lost or hacked.
Often, the decision comes down to whom do you trust with your business information? Not every organization should place its information in the cloud. Businesses with exceedingly sensitive information—or that should require strict regulatory compliance, probably also need their own well-rounded IT division to keep information secure. When you store information in the cloud, you are essentially trusting your provider to keep it secure, which may be unacceptable.
Running all or some of your business applications in the cloud is great, right up until the moment you cannot get a reliable connection at a critical time. And, on the off chance that any of your cloud-based administration suppliers loses network, or if your ISP encounters a blackout, you’re disconnected until that Internet association returns. Indeed, even the best servers go down at times, so if you’re utilizing cloud-based strategies, it’s essential to execute a reinforcement arrangement.
With so many options to think about, and so much technology to consider, do you know where your organization stands? Are you on the cutting edge, behind the times or just not sure? If you’re ready to evaluate your technology, where do you turn? Are you in process of a merger or acquisition and need insight as to the technological picture of your target?
Tindall Media’s consultative approach can help you discover how technology can improve your business processes and how to mitigate the risks. We can help you evaluate your current technology picture, and our consultative approach will result in a comprehensive, result-oriented technology plan. Years of experience with existing software packages, cloud based solutions as well as custom development can be leveraged to design a cost-effective solution for your business’s needs.
At Tindall Media, we love collaborating with companies to evaluate their technology position and working together to discover new and innovative ways to leverage technology in their organizations. Contact us today to schedule your technology review.