The Importance of Technology in Business Today
Nearly every business today relies on technology. New devices, new tools and new approaches are changing the way work is done. It’s also leading to new business models, some of which have disrupted entire industries.
The reliance on technology creates opportunities and challenges. There are new approaches to problem-solving, different ways of looking at business processes and a need for different kinds of employees. On the flip side, these technologies bring with them challenges of reliability, security and scalability.
Here’s a closer look at why businesses need technology and what they can do to get the most out of their investments.
How Does Technology Save Businesses Money and Time?
A popular phrase in business today is “digital transformation.” and according to the team at SunRiver IT Partners, a Nashville computer services organization for small businesses, “digital transformation” is a popular buzzword throughout Middle Tennessee.
It’s the idea that new technologies are reshaping how business is conducted worldwide. Consider the influence of technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, automation, 3-D printing, virtual reality, advanced computing and data analysis on our work and personal lives.
By changing the fundamental way work is done, businesses and entire industries are evolving, transforming before our eyes and becoming the new normal.
Here are a few of the ways that technology is disrupting and changing the workplace, helping businesses like yours save time and money.
- Better Customer Engagement. Customers today are looking for immediate, multichannel relationships with the brands they use. That means businesses need to use technology to reach customers whether in a brick-and-mortar store, on a smartphone, over social media or connecting with an employee on the phone. Customers expect that each person understands their history with your business and can respond quickly and accurately. They want to log into their online account and see where delivery is in the pipeline, special loyalty benefits and an easy way to connect virtually.
- Improved Collaboration. Businesses need technology that allows their employees to connect with each other, look at the same data, collaborate on projects and share insights. That means having data that is available from anywhere and on any device. It also means having apps and access that let employees working at different locations or working remotely connect in real time. These tools are device-agnostic, meaning those using new technologies can connect on any device at any time.
- Operational Efficiency. Efficient operations mean getting projects done fast, orders fulfilled quicker and documentation routed and approved easier. Tools such as automation and artificial intelligence can help businesses gain significant operational advantages that mean less time spent on routine tasks, no more manual data entry (which provides more risk of mistakes), improved customer service and better business outcomes.
- Reduced Operational Expenses. The cost savings from technology can come in many forms. Take, for example, warehouse operations. With inventory management tools housed in the cloud, your business gains a deeper understanding of production, shifting customer demands, delivery schedules, reordering and turnover rates. These insights let you reduce the size of warehouses, respond to customers with more accuracy and lower waste and remake expenses.
- Growth Capability. As your business grows, you need technical capabilities that allow you to expand as necessary. For example, cloud-based storage and hosting solutions are highly scalable, letting your business gain extra capacity for additional data or employees quickly. Cloud solutions provide speed and flexibility to meet your expansion needs or, if applicable, seasonal variances in space needs.
- Competitive Advantage. Investing in technology gives your business a leg up. You’ll be able to know where customers are and what they expect. You’ll deliver orders with greater speed and accuracy. Your business can work faster and smarter than your competitors while spending less money.
What Does Technology Mean for Business Reputation?
Using technology allows your business to stand out in the industry. Innovative approaches to problem-solving, revenue growth and operational efficiency help your business tell its story to others in your industry, along with current and potential customers. It’s a way to transform your reputation at multiple levels.
Your business will be noticed within your business community, whether locally or for industry gatherings.
Demonstrated technological ability also is attractive to investors and lenders. Even small- and medium-sized businesses can attract more capital, more support and eager partners looking to be in business with industry leaders.
How Can Technology Keep Businesses Secure?
Tim Averill, CEO of Blue Hat Cyber, a national cybersecurity consulting firm based in Reno, NA shares, “with the growth of data collection and online applications comes an increasing need to keep that information protected. Technology provides your business with solutions that provide peace of mind, customer confidence and threat mitigation.”
Hackers know that there is much to be gained from gaining access to valuable information that can be sold or held for ransom. Regulations from multiple agencies require processes that protect customer, patient, financial and employee data. With a managed service provider (MSP) as your partner, your business can deploy an affordable canvas of protections.
An MSP has multiple solutions that can deliver security at every level. Next-generation firewalls protect your network perimeter, detecting potential threats or suspicious activity, isolating it and eradicate it. That monitoring and alerting work help to minimize any damage and prevent further attacks.
Technology allows you to ensure that employees do not inadvertently expose critical systems. Anti-virus, anti-phishing and anti-spam tools flag and block unwanted attempts to compromise your systems.
What Can Businesses Do to Stay on Top of Technology Trends?
An experienced managed IT services provider like gives your business a virtual chief information officer to advise your company on emerging technology trends and solutions.
David Shaffer, CEO of Baltimore IT Support company, Tier One Technology Partners helps businesses identify technology vulnerabilities and recommends solutions that address specific business needs. Tier One’s solutions include:
- Cloud hosting of data and applications
- Remote help desk support
- Data backup and recovery
- Network security
- Collaboration and productivity tools such as Office 365 and Dropbox