As your business grows, so do your IT needs. Here are four copper-bottomed tech rules to follow to help your business expand.
Embrace the cloudIn The Lord of the Rings, there is one ring to rule them all. For successful business expansion, there is one technology that rules them all: the cloud.
Moving into the cloud is key for SMBs because it enables them to grow organically by adding technology as required, with little need for the IT department to intervene. This encompasses everything from email and office-productivity programs (such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps) through to higher-end tech such as customer relationship management (CRM) software such as Salesforce.
An added benefit of moving to the cloud is that you’re effectively renting the technology, meaning software is always kept up to date without the need for time-consuming, expensive and often bug-prone “service packs”. This also means that cloud technology is an operational expense rather than a capital expense. Tech costs become monthly line items rather than massive expenditures in the annual report.
Move to mobilityThe rise of the smartphone and tablet, as well as fast mobile broadband over 4G, means it’s possible for staff to work from wherever they are, whenever they need to.
Enabling staff to embrace the world of working when and where they need to means they are more productive and available more often. You can either adopt a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) or ‘choose your own device’ (CYOD) policy to ensure your staff have the tools they need while your data remains secure. Cloud computing will ensure they can also access the information they need in order to do their job from anywhere.
Introduce some flexibilityFollowing on from rule one and two, telecommuting is shaking up the traditional office structure. In a tight labour market, staff are demanding the flexibility that telecommuting enables to meet family, travel or other personal needs.
Enabling staff to work from a home office using their own technology reduces the real-estate footprint and technology outlay for the business, minimising operational costs. Staff are also empowered when they’re allowed to telecommute, increasing their loyalty to the organisation and improving their productivity.
Remember your customer is kingA happy customer is a loyal customer, which is why investing in cutting-edge CRM solutions is a key expenditure for today’s SMB.
A solid CRM package provides a business with a deeper understanding of its customers’ needs and behaviours, and allows it to meet the customer where they are – online, via social media or in-store. Good CRM also means customer problems are solved faster, to the benefit of both parties.
Productivity, efficiency and staff and customer loyalty are vital for any growing business. By following these simple technology rules you’ll be on your way to meeting their needs, minimising costs and taking your company to the next level.