Moving into the 21st century is a challenge for many small businesses that have held long and hard to older technology that seemed to get the job done. Moving from inter-office email and in-house servers to new outsourced systems that provide greater reliability and redundancy can benefit your small business, giving you more uptime and a better overall performance.
With global information technology spending nearly $3.5 trillion last year, integrating more technologically advanced system makes sense for large and small businesses alike. As a technology professional, you are charged with integrating these tech systems into your business without causing too much stress or disruption.
Knowing where to add and upgrade the tech solutions can help you manage your small business’s overall IT strategy now and in the future. To help you, here is what we recommend:
1. Start with integration in mind
There are many arguments for and against upgrades to software systems, but no matter what you choose, the best attribute I see in systems is their ability to integrate and connect to other applications that your business uses. If it can connect to other apps, then the win is far bigger than just upgrading a legacy system, it turns into a benefit that can help the whole business.
Many organizations are upgrading systems and thinking about how to migrate to the cloud. To get the most out of an upgrade, consider automating manual and repetitive tasks, and you will be much farther ahead of the game.
3. Migrate To Cloud Software
For small and medium-sized companies to reduce maintenance costs and increase accessibility for enterprise resource planning, accounting, inventory management and e-commerce, it is prudent to migrate to a cloud software. A cloud ERP solution is a good option for managing all of a company’s needs.
4. Try Hosted Email
Hosted email, whether it is an exchange provider or Google Suite, takes a considerable amount of resources that were traditionally spent keeping those systems running and updated locally. They provide highly stable, managed platforms that put the responsibility for upkeep on the provider. I have seen this move free up both time and capital in several cases.
5. Focus On Security
Lack of security has become a crisis for our technology-dependent world. Historically, security has been considered as a nice-to-have feature and something that can be added when needed later. We have learned the hard way that security must be designed into every technology and application, and it cannot be left out to reduce the cost.
6. Opt For SaaS Software
SaaS software provides an alternative route to standard software installation options. It is usually available at a lower cost and is immediately ready for use, permitting for quick proof of concept operations. Additionally, SaaS solutions are usually in the cloud environment allowing scalability and integration with other SaaS offerings. Upgrades are also simpler to carry out, and less expensive.
7. Focus on Task over tech
Never simply grab the latest software because you think you should. Think about how you can fix a process versus install new technology. A great example is Slack – many people love it, but many install it because they feel they have to. If you have diverse remote workers but don’t need constant communication, your best bet may be to install a process management system over a synchronous chat.
8. Choose Centralized CRM Applications
Inter-office email is often a crutch for some businesses. People become too dependent on it for information. Unlike inter-office email, help-desk applications and centralized CRM applications provide collective, customer-specific information, systems issues, and action items requiring attention. Communicating through a CRM allows subscribers to search combined real-time information.
9. Embrace Video
All companies, large and small, must embrace streaming video communication with employees, partners, and customers. Modern, efficient platforms that handle the entire video management/delivery workflow are emerging. The cost and complexity of producing good video content are coming down. So tell your team to step away from the keyboard, summon their inner Spielberg and embrace video.
10. Fix Only The Bottlenecks
A generic answer like “go cloud,” or “use Slack” will probably bring little or no value to the technology experts in this council. My advice is, before upgrading your technology, find the real bottlenecks in your processes and fix them. Sometimes the fix will require new technology, sometimes not. Focus on the barriers to growth and efficiency and relentlessly fix them with adequate solutions.
11. Use Agnostic Content
Companies managing large amounts of data often keep it siloed within isolated and proprietary systems that can’t communicate with each other. Instead, website content, product inventory, client info, employee details, digital assets and everything else can be managed within a single database as a service (DBaaS). Less training, easy access, lower costs and most importantly: the agnostic content can be used anywhere.
Using high tech devices also plays a vital role in the overall performance of your business, one such example is the Dell UltraSharp UP3218k which is one of the best 1440p 144hz monitor.
We can conclude that there are so many options to give your small business some effective tech upgrades, but only you can select the best option because you know your business better than anyone else. Technology is rapidly evolving and you always need to keep up with its pace. Timely upgrades can only make your business survive in this ever dynamic business environment.