Technology has completely transformed the business landscape as it’s made almost all business operations easier to run. Today, we communicate all the time with ease, often defaulting to using our smartphones while on the road to access email, business apps and to surf the web for information.
We also have VoIP, text messaging and social networking to stay connected internally to our business and externally to vendors and customers. Expensive, time-consuming business trips are now optional. Teleconferencing has empowered us to sync web cameras, audio equipment and collaboration software to create an interactive environment between two business teams in remote locations.
In addition, labor and resource-intensive business processes like marketing, manufacturing, distribution, productivity, customer service, etc. are now much more cost-effective and efficient. With that in mind, here are some ways software and technology are making things easier for businesses:
1. Manufacturing Intelligence
Manufacturing intelligence has been made possible through the integration of enterprise-level systems and unifying record keeping. The use of analytics in manufacturing ensures that we capture real data, rather than being forced to rely on hunches or guesswork to make business decisions. Armed with accurate data, manufacturing intelligence has the potential to improve how we make products, how we ship them to customers in a timely way, how we sell them at competitive prices, and how we offer after-sales service. It has never been easier to run operations more efficiently and to forecast future revenue growth trends.
2. Employee Productivity
Employee productivity makes all the difference to a company’s success. It doesn’t matter how well-conceived the business plan is or how cutting-edge its technology and equipment are; if workers are disengaged, then everything falls apart at the seams. Employee productivity, by definition, is the efficiency with which a team or a staff member performs their work.
In an effort to discover work hacks for more productivity, we can make simple behavioral modifications like working when we work instead of getting distracted, staying with a task until completion, starting our work earlier and staying a little later. While establishing good habits goes a long way in improving our productivity, productivity software can enhance our efforts to be productive even more. Productivity software uses documents, databases, graphs and worksheets to keep us organized.
Productivity software can be used on mobile devices while on a business trip, which can provide calendars, note-taking apps, emails and to-do lists. While it’s technically possible to also use productivity tasks like word processing and spreadsheets on mobile apps, sometimes it’s easier to work with on larger computer devices like laptops and desktops because of the larger screen size and a bigger keyboard for inputting data.
3. Remote Computing
Cloud computing has ushered in a quiet revolution for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. Here are some ways cloud computing has impacted business growth:
- Cloud computing has drastically reduced IT costs. It has decreased the need to hire IT staff for maintaining on-premise computer infrastructure, slashed the need to pay for high energy consumption and increased the efficacy of both hardware and software system upgrades.
- Cloud computing has improved business flexibility. Seasonal businesses — those that have peak selling periods and fallow periods — benefit from how easy it is to scale operations up or down with cloud computing. There’s no need to pay for extra bandwidth when there’s a lull in business, nor is there any difficulty in increasing bandwidth when there’s a tsunami of website sales.
- Cloud computing has ensured business continuity. Nothing could be more tragic for a business than being forced out of business due to a freak incident. The misfortune could be due to a natural disaster, like a hurricane blowing into town, a city-wide power failure or a hacking attack. However, data on the cloud is safer because it’s routinely backed up and secure because it’s located in a remote location.
- Cloud computing has enhanced collaboration. Businesses often need to collaborate with third-party outsourcing agencies or cater to the needs of employees who are either working from home or trying to access company files while on a business trip.
We’ve Come a Long Way
It’s hard to imagine how business worked before the Internet. There was only mail, not email; only cold calling, not mobile marketing; and only office work, no telecommuting. Now, technological innovations have made it easy for a company of any size to have a global reach.