Tech innovations over the last decade have made it much easier to do business. From day to day business processes like inventory management to trickier tasks such as product design, technology can benefit your company in a range of ways.
However, with so much business-focused technology tools out there, it can be difficult to figure out what you actually need and what you don’t. You don’t want to spend money you don’t need to on tech that isn’t going to boost your company’s bottom line or give you some advantage in the long-run.
We want to help. We’ve given you a list of must-have tech tools that your business needs to succeed, outlining some very good reasons for investing in these tools as well.
Communication and Collaboration Software
Technology has made it easier for us to work from wherever we feel like, letting us be productive even when we are out of the office. But very often, we’ll still need to check in and get feedback (or new instructions) from the rest of the team. Likewise, they may need our help with a task. When you’re out of the office and they can’t contact you, they may end up being stuck on a task until you’re the next time you stop by.
To solve that, you’ll need to use communication and collaboration software. There are many cloud-based solutions that allow people to connect from anywhere and work on projects together. InfoBeat explains that a lot of this software – including tools like Slack, HipChat, and Facebook’s Workplace – don’t cost a cent meaning that you won’t have to pay for the privilege of good inter-company communication.
Powerful and Capable Computers
However, in order to take advantage of software like Slack, HipChat and other useful apps, your employees will need powerful and capable computers. Busy people will often run multiple programs and so their computers will need to be capable of multi-tasking, without slowing down performance. The Apple MacBook Pro is good for that, as the base model of the 2018 version includes 8GB of RAM and a dual-core 2.3Ghz Intel i5 processor which means it can handle almost anything you staff throws at it.
Laptops as powerful as the MacBook Pro don’t come cheap, however, and if you’re equipping your entire workforce with this kind of computer you’ll need a way to save money. There are retailers that sell certified refurbished MacBooks, which will help you to get Apple laptops for your entire office at a lower price. Certified refurbished means that the retailer has tested the MacBook extensively and has a confirmed that it is in working order. Many retailers also include warranties which means that you’re covered in the event of a hardware fault that isn’t the fault of misuse you or your employee. You can save a few hundred dollars (if not more) on a MacBook this way.
As a business owner, you want your employees to be as productive as possible. You want them to focus on the tasks that are going to make you and your company money. You want them to be talking to prospective clients and customers rather than filling in data spreadsheets and creating new marketing campaigns instead of manually sending out payslips.
For many of these menial tasks, there are automated, intelligent personal assistants such as the Google Assistant, Siri, Mycroft, and Amazon Echo. These can take care of meeting scheduling, language translation, telling you about your to-do lis and much more. It means that your employs will be able to keep working on the important things while your AI assistant works on everything else.
It’s not just tasks like data spreadsheets and meetings that bots and assistants can help you with. There are also chatbots which can be used to replace customer service. If your employees spend much of their day answering simple questions from customers then you could delegate these tasks to a chatbot instead. Then, that customer service representative could focus on the bigger, more important queries instead.
Some of the business benefits of having a chatbot include cutting down on errors and mistakes made by humans and, because chatbots are available at all hours of the day, you may increase customer satisfaction as well. Both of these are important when it comes to growing your company.
Data Security Tools
Data security may be last on this list but it isn’t the least important aspect of your business. Quite the opposite, you need data security tools to keep customer information safe and to prevent their payment and personal details getting into the hands of those that it shouldn’t. You also need data security to prevent your business secrets from getting out into the wild and for competitors to know what you’re up to.
Data security for businesses can be complex as there are so many aspects to it. However, you can make a start by installing a security system, identifying which data assets need to be protected, and by reviewing your authorizations and levels of access (who has access to what).
Your business can benefit from technology in many ways. But it takes a smart and measured approach and with these ideas, you should be on the right path.