Business technologies are advancing at a rapid rate. The choice of new and improved products can often be incredibly overwhelming. Faced with such a range of options, companies often freeze with indecision or end up making a bad investment. The problem is, if your business relies on unsuitable or old technology, it will risk falling behind its competitors.
Here are the three biggest areas new technology can impact. Freeing yourself from old technology to new technologies.
1. Data silos
A sure sign of outdated technology is when the various departments within your company are managing their company and customer data with different software. For example, if your sales team can’t access the marketing team’s campaign database to check for new leads, profitable opportunities could slip between the cracks.
Of course, data silos are indicative of a competitive, rather than collaborative, workplace. To counteract this you will need to do two things: Firstly, apply one system to manage data across your business; and secondly, you also need to nurture an environment in which employees work together to achieve common business goals.
One approach may be to apply SaaS technology to connect up data silos. This will give your team the advantage of analysis and insights into your data in the process.
2. Employee productivity
Most managers have a love-hate relationship with technology. On the one hand, it reduces administrative workloads and improves overall efficiency. On the other, it has the potential to distract employees with the temptation of games, apps and social media.
There is no doubt that people’s desire to be ‘connected’ damages productivity at companies all over the world. Some businesses have responded by banning access to certain sites and personal devices in the workplace. However, this is an outdated response that will only affect your reputation as an attractive employer.
A far better approach is to encourage your employees to use social platforms to engage with customers. Salespeople are using what is known as ‘social selling‘ with increasing success to develop positive business relationships. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook (plus more) can all be used to nurture business relationships. The sharing of relevant content and being able to talk directly with prospective customers creates warm leads.
With a predicted 6.1 billion people having access to your business’ social channels via handheld devices by 2020 – it’s time to get serious about Social Selling.
3. Legacy software
Many businesses are sitting with old technologies that they bought years and years ago. While some may still work well, technology moves fast, rendering most old systems redundant or inefficient. It’s a frustrating reality but the only way to stay ahead of the competition is to keep your technology fresh. A regular spring-clean that reviews technology performance is crucial. It’s best to involve management and end-users in the process to develop a sense of shared ownership. Likewise, you should consult your current provider to ensure that your software system remains relevant and useful – or gets replaced.
To prevent unsuitable or old technology from killing your business, you need to choose the right technology to switch to. It’s not about having the coolest or latest device, application or software system, above all, it’s about adopting relevant tools that enhance your overall productivity.
Choosing the right technology for your business and your company strategy requires a commitment of time and resources. Rushing into the wrong investment can be very costly, so it is worth your full attention.
For example, weighing up the right Business Intelligence (BI) system for your business can become quite stressful. Taking advantage of comparison tables, company demos/trials and involving people across your company will increase buy-in and boost adoption.
R.I.P. old technology, Long live new technology.
Whichever path you choose to take your business, ‘new’ technology will be guiding you. From the technological Jurassic era of ERP’s to BI and now a new landscape of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things – technology is evolving to serve us in our workplaces. The virtual sky is the limit to your ambitions.