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Improve your business’s technological readiness

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that technological preparedness is essential for running a business. In the past one and a half years, the rapid increase in technology use within businesses has proven fatal for those that have failed to keep up, especially where they have had more prepared competitors.

A key component of this is businesses needing to rely on work being done outside of the physical office. Most modern technologies equip employees to work from anywhere, accessing company data and resources through cloud storage and operation while away from the office.

However, technologies can provide perks even to businesses that continue to work from the office.  It provides a secure storage solution that is independent of files stored on physical hard drives at the office location.  They also allow automation – many tasks that would take several hours when done manually can be completed more quickly and with better precision through well-constructed algorithms. This means that technologies can save companies hours of time otherwise spent on laborious administrative tasks and help them focus on directly growing the business and contributing to its success.

Below are a few technologies that your business needs to survive in the modern world.

Office Suite:

Without an Office Suite, your business’s opportunities are severely limited. An office suite also can save you trouble and frustration. An Office Suite creates a centralised point from which your organisation can operate and is not reliant on any one member. Many businesses do not realise the problems that a non-centralised system can cause until one of its members leaves the organisation, where data transfer can be extremely difficult while removing administrative permissions for the exiting member. Office Suite also allows easier collaboration between people in your organisation, even allowing them to work on the same files simultaneously. Furthermore, an Office Suite includes all the applications that make the digital tasks in your business possible, with cross-application filesharing from the centralised system.

Antivirus software:

Most of the threats to your business’s security in the modern world are from digital sources. Since sensitive information began to be stored digitally, criminals have tried to obtain illegal access to it. Without trustworthy anti-virus software, you are vulnerable to every attack and put your computers and company at risk.  Even with preventative measures in place, cybercriminals can be very savvy in their attempts to steal sensitive data. Ensuring that every employee has a good antivirus program on their computer will increase your business’s security by protecting against phishing and malware.

Accounting software:

If your business is small, it is strongly suggested that you invest in accounting software. With the complicated nature of payroll, bookkeeping, accounting and taxation, attempting to do everything manually or by spreadsheet could have undesired consequences.  Software can also help you keep track of your financial situation while you grow. Although you may still need to periodically utilise a bookkeeper or accountant, having the right software can create smoother processes as you develop and consider hiring a full-time bookkeeper.  Ideally, you should not rely solely on your financial managers’ software, since having easy access to your financial data can help you plan for your business’s success.

Project management software:

If you work in an industry where multiple people work on a project at the same time, you may struggle to keep everything on track by only relying on traditional electronic communications like email and instant messaging.  Project management software can give an excellent overview of individual players’ tasks and the overall progress of a project. It also helps identify problem areas in your processes or bottlenecks in your business’s line of production. Not only will you be proactively addressing issues, but you’ll negate the need for unnecessary communication and check-ups that may slow progress.

Website and mail:

The world is moving online and if your business has not done the same, it disadvantages you compared to your competitors. Not only is it necessary to be online, but to be able to give your existing and potential clients easy access to all the questions that they have about your business. Domain registration and dedicated mailing addresses will add professionalism and visibility to your business.

Fibre and 5G

Making sure that your business is geared to handle high-volume internet data is becoming more and more important. As things stand, it seems DSL/ADSL technologies are on the way out while the fast speeds of 4G LTE feel slower by the day. To keep up with the data demands of your business, you should look for newer internet technologies, such as 5G and Fibre technologies. By increasing your bandwidth and speeds, you’ll decrease the frustration of slow loading times and unstable real-time communication connections (which seems to be becoming a major player in the way businesses will communicate after the COVID-19 pandemic).

Smart Offices

While not a necessity, savvy business owners can only stand to benefit from keeping up to date on the development of smart technologies for the office space. Maximising productivity and performance in the workspace can be achieved by implementing interconnected smart devices and systems. Having an integrated smart office is already possible with devices such as the Google Assistant or Alexa and their compatible smart devices, although there are still some regional functionality limitations in South Africa.

Remote desktops

One of the most effective technologies that businesses have been using during the COVID-19 lockdown are remote desktops. Remote desktops allow you to use office computers from a remote location (such as your home). As more and more people return to work, the merit in investing in remote desktop software remains, as it allows those businesses functioning in always-on industries to utilise office equipment wherever they are.

The Future of Business

While so many businesses have seen what a lack of technological readiness could mean for their sustained success in the last couple of months, it also prepares them for the technological shift that has been coming for quite some time.

Naturally these technologies will mean that you need to add to your expenses in some form, but these expenses open many avenues for faster and better work that will increase your overall revenue and more than make up for the expense.

How are you gearing your business for the future?

References

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)

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