Some business owners see technology as a necessary evil, but others view it as a trusted friend and partner. No matter which camp you fall into, there are plenty of proven benefits of incorporating the right technology into your daily operations.
These days, just about every business uses technology in one way or another. Online businesses may use technology in different ways, but even the most old-school firm uses computers, servers and other equipment to store customer data, safeguard employment information, and keep the back-office operations running smoothly. Here are some of the biggest benefits your business can enjoy by using the latest technology:
Lower Personnel Costs with Technology
Personnel costs are the biggest expense many small businesses face, but technology can lower those costs significantly. Whether you are running a brand new startup and building a great team, or are the owner of an existing business trying to cut costs, the right technology for your business can reduce expenses and help you do more with less.
If you run a large call center, you could ramp up (and staff up) during periods of high activity. Or, you could harness the power of technology, implementing a voice response system that expertly routes calls to the correct staff members. That simple change could increase the productivity of your existing staff by 25-30%. More importantly, that increase in existing staff productivity could eliminate the need to hire additional workers during periods of peak activity.
Greater Productivity with Modern Technology for Business
It has never been more important for business owners to do more with fewer resources. Increased competition from the internet and elsewhere has created a difficult environment for businesses who are unable to adequately control their costs, as well as those who are unable to get lean and mean when facing an uncertain future.
The right technology for your business can greatly increase productivity, lowering costs and boosting profits in the process. Moving your data from local storage to the cloud gives your workforce the ability to work from anywhere, whether they are in the office, on vacation or at home with their families. This increase in productivity translates directly into higher profits, a big advantage for any growing business.
Lower Hardware Costs
Hardware costs can be a killer for any small business and even some larger firms. While the price of computer equipment—including desktops, laptops and servers—has dropped in recent years, business-class equipment is still quite pricey, especially when you add the cost of specialty software and per-seat licensing.
In response to these rising costs, a growing number of businesses have adopted a bring your own device (BYOD) approach to hardware acquisition. Since every new hire already has a computer in their pocket, the thinking goes, why purchase additional hardware when we do not have to?
The BYOD approach makes a lot of sense for businesses, and advances in technology have made the option more attractive than ever before. The growing capabilities of smartphones and tablets have made them more powerful than ever, reducing or even eliminating the need for a desktop computer in every cubicle.
A Better Work/Life Balance with Technology Enhancements
Maintaining a quality work/life balance is an important part of business in the 21st century. Parents are increasingly willing to trade extra pay for more time off, and older workers are actively seeking alternatives to retirement.
Whether the goal is facilitating phased retirement for your baby boomer employees or helping the new mom stay at home and still keep her job, technology can be a big help. The new mother who wants to stay at home with her newborn will benefit mightily from a self-contained workspace that can she can install on her own. The baby boomer looking for a phased exit from the workforce can take advantage of technology to work part time from home and part time in the office.
This ability to maintain a quality work/life balance is good for workers, but it is also good for businesses and the bottom line. The cost of recruiting and training a new employee can be as much as 10 times the cost of retaining an existing worker, so the benefits are easy to see.
Making adjustments for the needs of individual workers can also enhance the reputation of the business and make future recruiting efforts easier and more successful. Finding qualified workers may not be a problem during periods of economic downturn, but when things pick up, businesses often experience a shortage of good workers. Creating a workplace that values work/life balance could put your firm at the top of the list and help you find the workers you need no matter how low the unemployment rate gets.
More Efficient Use of Space
Paper files for one business could easily fill up several rooms, but a computer can store all of those files and more easily fit on a desktop. With every square foot of space an added expense, it is easy to see how shrinking your space requirements will benefit the bottom line.
More efficient use of space is one of the biggest, yet most often overlooked, benefits of business technology. If you are running a brand new startup, you can get by with a small rented office space instead of a larger and more expensive one. If you are trying to cut costs in an established business, you can use technology to reduce your space requirements, and every square foot you lose is more money in your pocket.
As you can see, technology can benefit your business in many different ways. No matter what kind of firm you own or how long you have been in business, improving your technology can lower your costs, enhance your productivity, boost your profits and allow your employees to work from anywhere.