Make your business run better and more efficiently with five modern solutions to crucial business challenges.
Why Information Technology (IT) is Important for Business
Information technologies (IT), such as computer equipment, servers, and productivity applications are the tools of modern business.
No matter what industry your business might occupy, IT will play a crucial role in how your business operates and runs on a day-to-day basis. It is almost impossible to imagine a profitable company that operates without basic IT such as computers and internet connectivity. Many consider such basic IT tools to be essential for doing business in today's world.
5 ways technology is crucial for your business today:
- Customer Service
- Happier Employees
5 ways technology is crucial for your business today:
To succeed, businesses must proactively meet customers where they are. In the past, that meant building a brick-and-mortar building in an advantageous location. If your target audience was in the mall or in a central urban location, that’s where you had to go.
Today, consumers are online. That’s not to say that traditional means of doing business in person aren’t important. Rather, the internet has become another essential space for businesses to reach clients and consumers and transact goods and services. This is known as e-commerce.
It almost goes without saying that any businesses operating today will need a presence on the web and on social media platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and others.
Some would argue that a strong web presence for your business is even more important today than having a brick-and-mortar office. And it’s not just for consumer-facing businesses. Global business-to-business (B2B) eCommerce sales reached over $6.6 trillion during 2020, surpassing business-to-consumer (B2C) valued at $3.2 trillion.
In order to build a strong web presence and e-commerce operation, you will first need to develop an effective IT strategy, build-out IT infrastructure, and work to collect and analyze enormous reams of digital information, or data.
The benefits of e-commerce are obvious - increased market reach, increased responsiveness to consumer demands, and decreased investment costs associated with owning and maintaining a physical brick-and-mortar location. However, making the jump to a seamless e-commerce operation is no easy task, and can only be accomplished with the help of knowledgeable IT experts.
America as well as the rest of the world engaged in a massive experiment in remote work during 2020 and into 2021. As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people around the globe shifted and learned to work and collaborate exclusively through new digital tools designed exactly for such a scenario.
From Skype to Zoom to Microsoft Teams to Slack and innumerable other collaboration applications and software, the past few years have seen a blossoming of technologies designed exclusively to streamline and digitize how we work together.
Not only has this blossoming of digital collaboration technologies and tools allowed businesses to continue in spite of pandemic-related shutdowns and social distancing, but it will also have long-term effects on how we communicate moving forward.
The truth is, work now happens at all hours of the day, every day of the week. If you have ever checked your email during the weekend, or on vacation, you have engaged in work. Digital collaboration and communication tools not only make it possible to work while you are away from the office, but they also make being productive easy and seamless.
Businesses that want to stay competitive should implement tools, technologies, and technology policies that enable this new paradigm of work through digital means.
Collaboration no longer only happens in the office, but now occurs in digital spaces as well from chat rooms to email chains to shared servers.
If you want to supercharge your business, investing in the technologies and tools necessary to facilitate collaboration everywhere and at any time is an absolute must.
With the growth of e-commerce and digital collaboration also comes new digital threats. The dark side of the internet revolution is that the very IT tools and technologies that have sparked massive growth in innovation and business output can also be used by malicious actors to cause enormous harm.
Today, the biggest security threats to most businesses aren’t burglars or arsonists; rather, it’s cybercriminals and hackers.
According to the Official Cybercrime Report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will cost the world US $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from US $3 trillion in 2015.
The damage caused by such malicious cyber-attacks includes data theft and destruction, financial theft, downtime resulting in lost productivity, intellectual property theft, the compromise of personal information, embezzlement, fraud, identity theft, extortion, and reputational harm.
Sixty percent of businesses will go out of business within six months of being victimized by hackers. Yet, according to many studies, most businesses are ill-prepared to deal with this new era of cybercrime and cyber attacks.
To survive and thrive in the internet age, security must be a top priority for all businesses. Not only will protecting and hardening your enterprise against potential cyber threats and data breaches make your business more resilient, but investing in cybersecurity will also protect your business’s reputation with clients, customers, and business partners alike.
4. Customer Service
Customer service is perhaps the most important engagement point between your business and customers. It’s the best way to make a sale, turn around a sale gone wrong, build trust, and earn a customer for life. Nonetheless, so many businesses get customer service wrong.
The best way to build a great customer service system is by leveraging the latest technologies. Forget about call banks and call centers. Instead, businesses need to build a responsive, real-time customer service infrastructure that not only engages customers directly but can also collect and analyze important pieces of customer information and data.
There are a number of IT tools and technologies that can be implemented to build a world-class customer service experience beyond traditional call centers.
- Realtime chatbots
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software and technologies
- Website & E-commerce platforms
- Self-service FAQ and support information
- Face-to-face digital conferencing
- Omni-channel service
- Responsive social media service
- Virtual assistant technology
- Deep customer analytics
- Digitization of human interactions
5. Happier Employees
Happier employees make for a better bottom line. That’s because happier employees are more productive, stick around longer, and create a better workplace culture (in and out of the office) which generally results in even greater productivity and innovation.
Ignoring employee satisfaction comes with all the opposite effects and can truly kill a business from the inside out. Unhappy employees aren’t productive, turn over rapidly resulting in increased hiring and training costs, and tend to spread their misery far and wide. Needless to say, keeping your workers satisfied can pay enormous dividends and drive long-term business success.
Technology can help your company identify management and incentive strategies that work effectively to improve employee morale and maintain optimal levels of worker satisfaction and productivity.
For example, more and more businesses today aren’t just putting out a “suggestion box” and hoping for productive feedback. Instead, businesses today can utilize a variety of proactive technological tools and channels from anonymous surveys and employee engagement software to individualized employee goal-setting applications.
Sophisticated enterprises leverage technology to retain talent and identify staff issues before they metastasize and harm their company cultures.
One great way to keep employees happy and engaged is to utilize new collaboration tools and software, such as Zoom, in order to allow willing employees to work remotely. According to studies, remote workers are happier, stay in their jobs longer, and work more hours than onsite employees.
Got Tech Dreams?
Information technology tools are constantly evolving and changing. Together with the complexity of modern technological infrastructure systems, it can be difficult to get your business’s IT up to speed. Leverage technology to your advantage and stay competitive in the marketplace by partnering with a managed services provider (MSP). A Managed IT Service provider can take care of all your IT needs, from IT infrastructure to security and malware to ensure that your business stays in the running and at the top of your customers’ minds.