It’s hardly debatable that we live in a technological age, so why do so many employers fail to embrace all the tools we have at our disposal? It might seem prudent to remain leery of change, gently dipping a toe to test the waters while letting the foolhardy jump in with both feet. However, while you cling to the past and hold tight to the business tenets your father taught you, remember it’s those businesses that adapt that win the battle for survival.
If adaptability is your business’s best friend, than fear is its worst enemy. The era of the Internet has ushered in an agile way of doing business, along with a new crop of concerns. In some ways, fear can make you stronger, pushing you to confront what you don’t understand to move forward – but it can also be crippling. If you want to make your business lean and mean, it’s time to embrace the latest technologies.
1. Look to the Cloud
For some, it’s hard to comprehend a system of storing files and software where you can’t see, feel, or touch them. It’s called cloud computing, and most of us use it in one form or another every day. Simply put, cloud computing is a system in which an individual or group stores data and software at a remote location that’s accessible via the Internet. Within this basic premise there are myriad ways to streamline your logistics and reduce capital expenditures, all the while keeping your intellectual property safer than ever before.
By utilizing cloud computing for your business, you are able to reduce the need for personal storage space, increase functionality to a wider range of employees, and access resources on secondary devices. Everyone in your company can share files, stay in communication, and utilize company software from anywhere at any time. This immediately lightens the need for office space and electronics, reduces waste, and improves continuity. Like so many technologies, embracing cloud computing is a revelation that pays off quickly and continues to expose you to new possibilities.
2. Go Mobile
Like Ebenezer Scrooge, hunkered down in the office all day with poor Bob Cratchit chained to the desk next to him, some employers still believe that seeing is believing. A big hurdle in business today is to recognize what can be accomplished when you choose to embrace the fact that the world has gone mobile. Whether we’re talking about allowing members of your team to telecommute and work from home, or utilizing mobile applications and devices to get things done on the move, mobile technology is a cornerstone of achieving new levels of business flexibility.
Mobile applications allow workers to stay connected around the clock in a virtual environment. Employees are more productive, as the burden of commuting is lessened or eliminated, and office tasks can be accomplished anywhere. Mobile apps make it possible to monitor a website’s traffic and statistics, receive payments via a handheld device, update shared schedules, and communicate in real-time from anywhere in the world for free. By developing a mobile app for your own business, you can also open up new avenues to serve your customers, manage accounts, and convert sales, all while reducing payroll and simplifying procedures.
3. Be Social
Utilizing social media doesn’t mean that you need to start tweeting your daily musings or communing with long-lost friends. Social media is not just a time-suck for the masses – it is also a way for businesses to communicate ideas, establish authority, and spread a message. Why else is just about every major entity in the world using social media, from popular fast food chains to the President of the United States? The benefits can mean everything from a reduction in advertising spending, more streamlined internal communications, and an immediate foray into a global arena where millions of potential clients await.
With the help of platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, companies have discovered powerful tools to become more agile. Once up and running, a social media marketing campaign better utilizes employees as assets to communicate ideas and publicize initiatives. Armed with mobile applications, suddenly everyone in the company has the power to impact your marketing and communication efforts, posting to blogs and delivering messages either from their desk or on the floor of a convention.
One secret to success in the modern workplace is utilizing the latest technology to become more agile. By embracing things like cloud computing, mobile applications, and social media – and more importantly, understanding how they all work together – you can reduce costs, increase productivity, and compete for business on a global platform.
What other forms of technology have you embraced in your business?