8 Tips for Improving Business Technology - GroupOne Consulting, Inc.
October 31st, 2019 / Blogs
Technology is a big part of your business, but how do you make sure you are getting the best from your tech? How do you make sure you are evolving your tech toolkit in line with the latest industry developments?
Take a look at our eight tips for improving your business technology, and make your tech solutions work for you.
Connect with tech management services
First and foremost, you need to make sure your infrastructure is well-maintained and fully optimized going forward. But you can’t afford to employ a whole in-house IT department, so what do you do?
Managed services are key here. Such services give you all the capability of an IT department at a fraction of the cost while delivering peace of mind along the way.
Keep your ear to the ground in the industry
Before you can implement the tech solutions that are going to really benefit your business, you first need to know what these solutions are. To achieve this, you need to keep your ear to the ground and stay tuned-in to the latest news in your field.
Subscribe to social media channels and RSS feeds from key influencers in your industry. Visit trade shows and other industry events, and network to discover the latest news. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing, and then work to understand how they achieved what they have achieved. All of this will give you an insight into the tech you need to be working with.
Research from Small Biz Trends, released in 2019, found that only “56% of startups launched in 2014 made it to their fourth year”, and that 19% of these businesses failed because they couldn’t keep up with the competition. Do your research on the market and make sure you are ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing the tech.
56% of startups launched in 2014 made it to their fourth year”, and that 19% of these businesses failed because they couldn’t keep up with the competition.Small Biz Trends
Ongoing training and education are key
Make sure your team knows how to use the technology you put in place — it’s as simple as that. You already have training and education rules in place to bring your staff members up to speed on company policies and protocols — put the same programs in place to help you with your technology.
Remember that these training programs should be ongoing. As your business grows and its objectives evolve, the needs of your organization will change. This means you may need to bring in more technology solutions as they become available on the market, which in turn means new training requirements for your staff. Consult with the professionals and gain the knowledge and insight you need to pass on to your teams.
It may not be your organization that changes, but the market around it. Gartner predicts that the IoT network will have grown to include “20.4bn connected things worldwide by 2020″. This is something that your teams are going to have to get to grips with.
Use analytics to identify opportunities
Data is everything in modern business, so make sure you are getting all the data you need to support your company as it grows. This includes the process of bringing in new pieces of technology.
It all begins by putting analytics in place. You may feel there is an area of your business that is not firing on all cylinders. You may sense that there is an area that technology might help with. However, without the right data, you can never know for sure.
Analytics gives you the insight you need to find the tech opportunities for your business. Without this insight, you are shooting in the dark with regard to the new technology you require.
Support technology with policy
Having the right technology in place is crucial, of course, but you also need to make sure this technology is being utilized in the right way. Perhaps the main operator of the technology knows how to use it, but what if they are working elsewhere or have to call in sick? There needs to be a set of policies in place that ensures other staff members can step in and use the technology to its full capacity when required.
You also need to implement policies regarding when and where the technology is to be used. Investing in a smart piece of cloud-based inventory management tech is no use if some staff members prefer to use the previous solution. Make sure your company policy promotes the right kind of tech use.
58% of business owners said they had “undertaken six or more full AI implementations” in 2018, demonstrating how important this tech trend is becoming.Deloitte
Define an evolving list of KPIs
It’s not good to simply install a new piece of tech and hope for the best. Each new technological solution needs to be another part of your evolving plan and help to achieve your long term aims.
This means you need to know what you expect from the solution and over what timescale.
Let’s say you introduce technology designed to increase efficiency when it comes to producing new marketing materials. You need to know a) how long it takes you to produce these materials currently, b) how much this is costing you, c) how much time you expect to save once the tech is implemented, and d) how much money you expect to save.
These metrics give you a yardstick against which to measure the success of your endeavors. Remember that your list of KPIs may evolve over time as you become committed to different goals and objectives.
Automation is your friend
Automation is one of the major business technology trends currently emerging. Some business owners are still nervous about “taking their hands off the wheel” and letting an automated system take over.
However, by adopting the right approach, you can make automation your friend. Once you have your KPIs identified, and you know your parameters for success, you can set your software solution to the task of monitoring the situation. Automated daily reports free up you and your team from the laborious task of scanning through data-sets and searching for patterns.
You may also want to look for technological solutions that apply automation in the right way. For example, artificially intelligent chatbots that provide quick answers to basic questions. According to a Deloitte survey, as many as 58% of business owners said they had “undertaken six or more full AI implementations” in 2018, demonstrating how important this tech trend is becoming.
Adopt a hands-on approach to new tech
You need to know what you are dealing with when it comes to technology. Bringing a new piece of tech into your company, and then finding that it is simply not a good fit for what you are trying to achieve, is simply a waste of time and resources.
So, get to grips with the technology before you place the order. Get to know how it works, what it’s capable of, and how your team can work with it. This will eliminate the risk of finding yourself lumbered with a dodgy piece of tech.
To learn more about getting the best from your tech, and optimizing your business for success, get in touch with our team today.
Written by Chris Wiegman