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When chosen carefully, technology can make your work life (and your employees’) a lot more efficient. But without the help of an expert IT company, how can you be sure you even have the right technology in the first place?
IT should not just be an afterthought.
Just like your staff, technology is a resource in which you invest. You wouldn’t hire someone to work for you without finding out what they can do, and figuring out where best they would fit in the organization, right?
It should work the same way with your technology.
It’s critical that you align technology to your organizational goals so that you’re not wasting money or technology you’ve already bought. Some have their IT company handle this, and some try to tackle it on their own.
1. Embrace Technology & The Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is one of the biggest buzz phrases going around the business community right now. In fact, two-thirds of CEOs plan to focus on digital transformation by the end of this year alone.
Are you onboard?
It’s simply the way the world is moving, and for good reason. The business workplace is being drastically altered by technology as each year goes by – if you don’t embrace it, then you’ll be left behind.
What Is Digital Transformation?
At its simplest, it’s the initiative to use technology for better business outcomes. That’s rather general though, isn’t it?
To understand it, it may be more effective to look at the way technology is changing the workplace, such as that…
The fact is that, whether you embrace technology or not, the people you interact with (your customers and employees) will expect you to. If you don’t, they’ll work with someone else who does.
Don’t believe it?
That’s why you need to make an effort to understand how technology can affect positive change in the work that you do. From customer experience to workflow optimization, technology is playing a big role in the way businesses operate.
2. Make The Most Of The Cloud
The cloud may still feel like new technology – but in reality, it’s been around for more than 10 years now.
Does that make you feel old?
Let’s be clear about something – the cloud is here to stay. In recent years you may have still heard the occasional “industry insider” suggest that the world may be moving too quickly to an untested and unsure platform in cloud computing, but no more. The cloud is now an integral part of daily life for private consumer and business users alike.
Instead of entrusting your legacy solutions to a public or private cloud, many businesses are opting for a hybrid cloud. They use a mix of on-premise, private and third-party public cloud services because this provides an infrastructure where one or many touchpoints exist between the environments.
Using a hybrid cloud gives you the freedom to choose which applications and resources you want to keep in the data center and which ones you want to store in the Cloud.
How Is The Cloud Delivered?
Why Should You Use The Cloud?
For the same reasons that thousands of other businesses around the world have already adopted cloud computing:
3. Don’t Overlook Email
Email is perhaps the most ubiquitous technology used in the business world today – possibly even more so than the phone. It’s instantaneous, can deliver important files, and doesn’t require the immediate attention that a phone call does.
That’s why you need it – it’s a non-negotiable. And, if you’re currently using some free, no-name email client, you may want to consider an upgrade. When it comes to some as universal as email, paying for a better option is undoubtedly worth the money.
A good choice would be Microsoft Outlook, which has been the email program of choice for businesses for many years, and with good reason. With an abundance of great features and endless options for customization, it’s the perfect solution for those trying to communicate effectively in the business setting.
4. Stay Mobile
Did you know that 80% of the workforce operates at least in part from outside the office?
That’s thanks to a combination of the cloud and the mobile devices that each and every person you work with carries around in their pocket. By 2020, the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to reach 2.87 billion.
Mobility has delivered a number of advantages to organizations that are willing to embrace new technology, including:
Implement A Mobile Device Management Policy
This type of comprehensive policy dictates how your employees can use their personal devices for work purposes, dictating which security apps should be installed, and what best practices need to be followed.
An effective MDM policy should also instill safe and secure practices for employees that use personal devices for business purposes. Key considerations include:
5. Help Your Team Collaborate
You and I know that the way you do work is changing.
Employees are no longer simply stuck behind desks, completing tasks on PCs and working within the same office. Workforces are mobile, getting work done from wherever it’s most convenient. This requires the capability to share files securely and conveniently.
Businesses are hiring more and more remote workers – in fact, it’s the way half the country works every day. So many staff members that work from home, outside of the business’ city of operation, and even much further away.
Why would so many businesses be transitioning to this workplace model? Isn’t it undeniably better to have everyone in one place, under one roof?
Why Do People Prefer To Work Remotely?
More than anything else, it’s convenient:
You could try Microsoft SharePoint, which is designed to allow you to share files, collaborate, edit, and more with anywhere from a single coworker to an entire team. Files in SharePoint aren’t owned or associated with one specific person – everyone on the team has read and write access.
Files that you store in a given Microsoft Team Site can be accessed by all team members, allowing everyone to collaborate by creating lists and libraries in which to store content. SharePoint offers a range of other features as well to help enrich the experience, including metadata, workflows, custom views and more.
SharePoint is where you keep the files that you want your team members to access, update, edit, etc. Try using SharePoint for your next team project and see how effective it really is.
Invest In Your Future
In the end, modernizing your office doesn’t have to be a massive restructuring of the way you do business. Step by step you can affect these changes, either by talking to your staff about mobile device use for work or consulting with your IT company about how to automate more of your daily tasks.
The key? You have to be willing to start.