When it comes to making an impact in how we all work, technology is a major player. From the game-changing development of the Internet in the early 1990s to email and more recent advances in smartphone technology or cloud-based systems, it is clear that technology has given businesses many tools to promote success. When you look at the stats around the use of technology, it is even more obvious why integrating it into your business is essential. From the 4 billion worldwide Internet users to the 300 million-plus Twitter users, technology plays a key role for any organization.
Why has technology enabled businesses to grow over the years?
In simple terms, this is split into two areas. The first is based on businesses themselves and the way technology has allowed them to work smarter. Each development along the way has given companies the chance to review what they do and use the available technology to do it better and with reduced costs.
The second area in which technology has helped to drive business success is customer engagement. This is especially true in recent years, where tech advances such as social media or smartphone use have been adopted by the general consumer. By tapping into the same tech to be where their customers are, businesses can generate more leads, make more sales and engage more effectively with their customer base.
In what other ways has tech helped the business sector?
The above paints a very broad picture of what technology has done for business over the years. But what specific areas within a business can it help with?
- More effective marketing – the marketing world is one sector that has seen massive changes, due to the latest advances in tech. Digital marketing makes full use of email, the Internet and a range of innovative, online analytical software to reach more consumers than ever before. It not only allows for more powerful campaigns to be designed and conducted but also enables far deeper insight into your customer base.
- Improved efficiency and collaboration – one other amazing way that technology has allowed businesses to succeed is in how they work. We all know that higher levels of employee engagement and productivity are what drive success in the long term. Advances in technology over time have made communication faster and clearer with email or video chat, while cloud-based computing makes collaboration much more effective.
- Better customer service levels – if you want to run a successful business, customer service is key. Technology has helped a lot here, by giving businesses more ways to communicate with customers in the way that the customers prefer. From live chat on websites to email and social media, the range of choice in how customers are interacted with is huge. This enables your business to engage with customers in the manner they prefer and resolve any issues quicker.
- Keeps you ahead of the pack – one really great way that technology can help any business thrive is by keeping them ahead of their competitors. Using technology allows you to offer a better customer service and better on-the-job results than your main competitors may be able to. This is especially crucial in service sectors, where having the most up-to-date equipment with the latest tech is key to producing results that will wow your customers.
- Reduced training costs – there is no doubt that keeping your staff constantly updated with the latest relevant training is vital. This will allow them to perform better and offer an improved service to clients to make your business successful. In the past, though, this could be tricky as it involved them being away from their desks for hours to get the training required. Technology has helped greatly here by taking training online, so it can be done on an individual basis in the office, when staff have time – no more hours away from customers or their desks!
Cloud-based computing is significant
We have already mentioned cloud-based computing above, but this is one area that is really taking off in many businesses globally. Indeed, it is predicted that 83% of enterprise workloads will be cloud-based by 2020. The advantages of the cloud for business make this a real no-brainer. Not only is it more secure than having desktop or paper files but it also offers cost reduction in IT staffing, along with scalable fee structures. When you factor in the greater staff collaboration it facilitates and the streamlined workflow, it is a great way to use technology to drive business success. The Charles Phillips-led Infor corporation is based in New York and has helped many businesses integrate this kind of software to superb effect.
Technology and business are the perfect mix
What the above has shown is that technology and business go together perfectly. While some business leaders may have been resistant to change in the past, the many advantages that tech brings to the boardroom are undeniable. From finding more customers to serving them better and helping your staff to perform, technology really is a great tool to take advantage of.