Your company has operated on pen and paper for too long—you know you need to upgrade to more modern technology, but how do you get started?
In 2021, there are plenty of business technology ideas out there that companies can use to increase productivity. However, if they’re brand-new to you, it can be overwhelming.
If you’re ready to upgrade your company, we’re here to help. Keep reading to find nine business technology tips that can help modernize your office, explained in a way that’s easy to understand.
1. Switch to VoIP Telephone Systems
If your business depends heavily on phone communications, it might be time to ditch the traditional phone systems and switch to VoIP phones.
VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is one of our best business technology tips to clearer, more affordable phone calls. If your company makes frequent international or long-distance calls, you probably rack up quite a large phone bill each month.
However, with VoIP, phone calls are placed using a broadband internet connection, rather than your traditional analog phone line. This makes them much more affordable to use.
Because they work via the internet, it also means that you can make calls from anywhere with VoIP, even if you’re working from home. This is great for remote workers who need to make frequent phone calls without increasing their home telephone bills.
Many companies find VoIP to have improved voice quality and clearer sound, which is helpful for your customers.
2. Offer Mobile Payments
If you’re a retail or service-based business, one important technology to think about is payment software. When a client wants to place an order, can they do this quickly and securely via your website, or do they need to call up and pay over the phone?
Ideally, your website and payment systems should be completely mobile-friendly. More and more consumers are shopping on their phones or tablets, so it should be easy for them to shop online.
Sign up for a one-click mobile payment system like Apple Pay, PayPal, or Visa Checkout. This is likely to increase your sales and conversion rates, as customers love the convenience of shopping online.
Mobile payment apps are secure as well, giving both customers and business owners peace of mind.
3. Use Tech to Personalize Your Customer Experience
Imagine sending your customers a personalized email, using their location and past purchase history to show them the exact products they’re likely to enjoy.
Over time, computers and systems can learn behaviors and activities, just as humans do. Businesses can use this to improve customer experience, as AI is fantastic for quickly finding out details about customers that you can use for marketing.
With help from the right email marketing software, you can craft personalized emails that your customers are sure to appreciate.
4. Work Faster with AI
AI is great for marketing, but this tool can also help you work more effectively. Imagine you have huge amounts of data, and you need to identify patterns or abnormalities.
A person could do this by hand, but it’s likely to take days and will be tough on your eyes. There’s a large room for error as well, especially as we get tired.
However, AI can scan vast documents in minutes, accurately finding exactly what you need. This can save lots of time, allowing your employees to focus on other tasks.
AI is also fantastic for helping us with organization. Do you use Siri or Alexa on your phone? These are the types of AI that many workers use daily.
Voice-activated AI can help us keep track of meetings, make appointments, or look up information from our files. They’re also easily accessible, thanks to our smartphones, so it’s like having a personal assistant who’s always with you.
5. Use Cloud Computing
Another of our business technology tips is to switch your company to cloud computing. By storing your company’s data over the internet, instead of on a physical server in the office, it becomes much easier for remote workers to access information.
It can reduce your IT costs as well, as cloud computing can be very affordable, especially for small businesses.
Cloud computing is secure as well. Imagine if a fire or flood were to occur in your office, destroying your company’s server—all of your data would be lost.
With cloud computing, there’s no risk of that happening, so your files are much more secure from both damage and physical theft.
It’s also easy to scale up or down on your cloud storage plans, ensuring you’re only paying for the amount of storage space you need.
6. Collaboration Apps Help You Stay Connected
Does your company have a lot for workers who are remote or work from home? If so, don’t underestimate the importance of staying connected.
Remote work can be lonely for many staff, especially if they’re used to the camaraderie of the office. They need to be able to keep in frequent contact during the day, not just to stay social but also to ask questions, work on projects together, and share information.
Luckily, there are plenty of apps and software programs that make it easy for staff to communicate during the day. Some of the best collaboration tools include Slack, Asana, Microsoft Teams, and Trello.
They’re all slightly different but are helpful for messaging channels, assigning projects, group chats, and private conversations.
7. Upgrade Your Office Computers
Another business tech tip is to make sure your staff have the tools they need for the job. Are your office computers modern and fast, or old and run-down?
If your computers aren’t up to scratch, staff are going to get slowed down and become frustrated, since tasks will take longer than they should.
Think about upgrading to newer computers, as your staff are sure to appreciate it. You may also choose to upgrade only the individual components such as ergonomic keyboards to increase the staff’s work efficiency and reduce fatigue.
8. Keep Your Data Secure
How secure is your data? One big consideration when it comes to office technology is using the right cybersecurity software.
Unfortunately, hacks and security breaches can happen at any time, 5200 confirmed breaches occurred around the world, according to Verizon 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR).
Both small and large companies are at risk from hackers, who are eager to steal credit card numbers, IDs, and private information that they can profit from.
You need to keep your malware software up to date and regularly remind your staff to behave safely online—never open email attachments from unknown senders.
Outsourcing your IT services is a popular way to stay safe, but you can also remain vigilant yourself. Staff should also change passwords regularly, lock their desktops when they walk away from their desks, and report any suspicious activity to management right away.
Here is an infographic explaining the importance of digitalization of the documents.
Infographic created by Donnelley Financial Solutions, a regulatory compliance software company.
9. Invest in a New CRM
If your company has large amounts of records, such as stakeholders, customers, or inventory, you should be using a cloud-based CRM. CRM stands for customer relationship management — it’s a database tool companies use to keep track of all their important data.
However, many companies are using older CRMs that can’t perform all of the functions they need. It’s particularly useful to use a cloud-based CRM, like Salesforce or Freshworks, if you have remote workers, so they can access your data from home.
The right CRM will help you better understand your customers, as you can use the system to access all of your customer profiles at the touch of a button. You can also easily run reports, look up information, or organize events, all through the CRM.
While a new CRM is an investment, it will pay for itself by helping your company become more efficient.
If you’re curious about new business technology ideas that can help your company, the above are sure to help. Take the time to learn more about some of the tips mentioned above, then decide if they’re right for your business.
With a few investments in new technologies, you can propel your company into the modern age. This will make your staff happier and can also help increase sales, so try it out today!
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