Smarter working: How good IT helps reduce costs, improve security, and grows your business
Many organisations still think of their Information Technology spend as a cost to be endured, but smart companies now see this expenditure as a way to enable growth across multiple areas of their businesses.
Forward-thinking companies understand how good IT helps customer relationships, improves productivity, has a positive impact on employees, and helps guard against cybercrime.
As technology evolves, so do the ways businesses can utilise it to help drive results, manage the workplace more effectively, improve customer experience, improve security for businesses and reduce the environmental impact of business operations. There are numerous devices and systems available on the market today that business owners can use to benefit their practices and the future of their business. How can they make the best of these and use them to their advantage?
Save Time on Monotonous Tasks
One of the most significant things technological advancements have brought to the table for businesses is the ability to save time at the office by automating processes that would normally take hours or more, such as checking email inboxes and pointing out conflicts in workers' schedules before they arise. One such tool to help businesses save time is artificial intelligence programs, or AI.
Recently, Windows 10's own AI, Cortana, received an update that scans emails in an inbox, putting focus on emails with certain subject lines or keywords and sending others to a junk folder, and can also set reminders according to your emails. AIs connected to certain devices, like Amazon's Alexa, allow business owners to make purchases without lifting a finger, and chatbots can be programmed to automatically answer customers' questions when the customer types certain words in the live chat box on a business's website. This all cuts time on more menial issues, allowing workers to focus on more productive and innovative goals.
Keeping Your Business Secure
For business owners, one of the biggest concerns is making sure their inventory isn't lost or stolen, but many fear they would need to spend more than they earn on an effective and useful security system. The good news is that nowadays, most security gadgets, such as security cameras, smart locks and alarm systems, are very affordable and easy to set up. Business owners should consider investing in one or more of these products to keep thieves at bay. These smart gadgets and systems can also be controlled from virtually anywhere, so if you’re not physically at your office, you can still watch your camera feed on your computer, smartphone or tablet through a connected app and trigger an alarm as needed.
Mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as the versatility of the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) have all allowed for more accessibility in the workforce than ever before. Employees and business owners are able to access their work from virtually anywhere and at anytime, just by connecting to the Internet. This enables them to work from home, take trips and be on the go, while also tending to their business’ needs. Video conferencing can also easily be set up between coworkers or the business and the client, allowing them to communicate even when they’re in different parts of the world.
Various smart technologies have helped reduce harmful impacts on the environment, both in homes and in businesses. Besides being able to document all your paperwork on computers and the cloud, businesses can benefit from the multiple tech devices that save energy and reduce the need for wasteful products. Investing in smart lights and smart thermostats allow for retail businesses and company offices to save energy and money that can be otherwise used for more important costs. Regular electrical outlets can be replaced by smart plugs and smart strips that make virtually any device “smart” by shutting off power when said device is not in use.
Providing a Better Customer Experience
By utilising the power of the Internet of Things and its connected devices, businesses will potentially be able to provide a better and more targeted customer experience. The IoT is able to collect your customers’ data, allowing you to take a look at who is considering buying what and what they are searching for or what they need. With this information, businesses can better target their audience and launch more effective marketing campaigns, email blasts and general content that interests their customers and clients.
Technology has continuously helped to shape the business world in a revolutionary way over the past decades. Today, many systems, gadgets and devices are constantly being developed to help streamline processes, increase efficiency and make things more sustainable for both big and small businesses. In order to expand and better their businesses, business owners should consider investing in smart technology for their future.
Guest blog by Beth Kotz