To say technology is intrinsically linked with our daily routine would be somewhat of an understatement. The age of the technophobe is well and truly over, and being technologically aware is not only pretty cool, but also an absolute necessity. Even the latest Hollywood release, The Intern, (a movie that had the whole cinema weeping) saw Robert de Niro come to terms with a Mac laptop. Certainly the rising number of businesses adopting tech has been somewhat meteoric. In 2013 only 57% of CEOs were said to be encouraging the use of digital technologies, this has risen to 73% over the past two years. Not only that, but according to one study 45% using digital tools saw a tangible increase in customer retention and 44% saw an overall increase in revenue.
There seems little doubt that using technology can help your business and enhance your brand, so here are a few ideas to get you started on the road to a savvier workforce and a brighter workplace.
Increasing numbers of companies are placing a value on working from home, allowing their employees a more flexible approach to work. This is particularly pertinent as the millennial generation become the majority of the work force (according to a study by Deloitte 75% by 2025), and have far different expectations. Ensuring your staff can work from home is guaranteed to make for a happier workforce, using a resource such as the Cloud will allow online login, gifting you a remote workforce.
Software now exists for the sole purpose of providing a seamless work process. Whereas previously sticky notes, random sheets of paper could clutter your desk – now a project can start and finish all using computer generated software. Each step with be logically explained on a virtual dashboard and it will also allow you to see the “author” of each entry. Knowing who to contact about what decision, makes the entire process far smoother and much more efficient. It is known as a CRM (Consumer resource management) and is available in a cheaper option such as Capsule all the way to the far more expensive and extensive Salesforce.
VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol allows you to use the internet to make an international phone call. Rather than spending a fortune on service providers roaming charges. You can use a VoIP phone and be connected anywhere in the world with as many people as you want for free. Conference call with China, Canada and Croatia? Simple, easy and cheap all you need is a dedicated VoIP phone and wifi signal. In modern business your location is but a coordinate.
Analytics can be used on a range of your software to analyse just how well you are really doing. If knowledge is power then using Google Analytics (which monitors traffic to and within your website), Facebook, Twitter and even analytics that accompany certain software management systems will allow you to monitor your productivity and effectiveness ensuring you can become the best company you can be.
For a smaller outfit just beginning to gain some traction – outsourcing using a website like Peoplepherhour (which focuses on the cheaper end of the market) or for those with more capital who can find the best freelancers (those who are at the top of Google Rankings have probably invested a fair bit in SEO, and are presumably pretty successful) using online collaboration is an affordable way to inject some creativity and ingenuity into your business practice. Having another pair of eyes can often be a very powerful tool.