Posts

Streamline Your Business Technology In 4 Easy Steps

Investing in the right technology is essential for any business, but it only benefits your company if you do it correctly. Overcomplicating their IT systems is one of the more common mistakes that businesses make and it leads to a lot of wasted money and confusing processes which harm productivity. But if you can streamline your business technology, you’ll find that it works far more effectively and you’ll save some money at the same time. Here’s how you can streamline your business technology in 4 easy steps.

StrategyDriven | Managing Your Business | Streamline Your Business Technology In 4 Easy Steps

Understand Your Current System

Before you can start making any changes, you need to understand your current system. You might be thinking that you already understand all of the technology that your business uses, but chances are, you don’t. You need to speak with your employees and understand how they are using technology day to day, and how it improves their ability to work productively. You also need to look through a breakdown of everything that you’re paying for and ask yourself what benefit each piece of software or hardware brings to the business. If you can’t work out how something benefits the business, why are you spending money on it? Once you have a good idea of where you stand, you can start finding ways to streamline things.

Identify Your Needs

Often, businesses overcomplicate their technology because they do not consider their needs when purchasing software. Instead, they are drawn in by marketing and they buy things on the promise that it will improve their business, even if they don’t really need it. It’s important that you use a needs based approach and think about the problems in your business that need to be solved, then invest in software to meet those needs. If you do it that way, you will be able to make technology investments that improve your business and stop wasting money on things that you don’t need.

Invest In Cloud Solutions

Keeping all of your systems updated is important, but when you overcomplicate things, it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. But if you invest in the right cloud computing services, you can have them manage all of your systems and keep them updated, rather than handling it in-house. That makes things a lot simpler for you, but you still get the benefit of using the latest technology.

Integrate Software

The best way to simplify your business technology is to integrate your software. When you are buying new software, you should always look for applications that work seamlessly with the software that you already have in place. Trying to use multiple programs that don’t work well together will really slow things down for your employees. But if you can integrate everything properly, it will all work perfectly and you should see an increase in productivity. Trying to manage integration can be tough, especially if you don’t really know what you’re doing, so it is best to call in an IT consulting company to implement everything for you.

Follow these steps and you can successfully streamline your business technology and save yourself a lot of time and money.

How Is Tech Benefiting The Healthcare Industry?

The healthcare industry has seen a rise in the tech available to them in the last couple of years. The industry is benefiting greatly from all of the new tech that they can now use to diagnose and keep better patient records. You might be wondering how tech is doing this for the healthcare industry, and you’re not alone. In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the benefits that tech has brought to this industry in recent years.

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective | Healthcare | Business Technology
 
Improving Efficiency

One of the biggest benefits is that efficiency has been improved, and is still improving. Items like portable ultrasound machines make it possible to move the equipment instead of the patient which can save a lot of time. You know if you have been in a hospital how busy it is, and how manic it can get. This is why improving efficiency is always a goal, and one that tech happily obliged to.

Using tablets instead of or alongside paper records has made keeping patients data safe much more manageable. Now, people can’t just come in and pick up a medical history without having the proper authority. As well as this, it is far easier to lose paper copies of patient files than it is to lose that which is on a tablet. Having all the tablets linked means that any doctor or nurse can access a patient file without having to dig through mountains of paperwork.

Faster Results

With tech evolving all the time, getting the results from a test can be a lot quicker. This means that patient care can be given faster, which in some cases could save a life. Anybody who knows about the medical profession knows that it can be a case of seconds between life and death. With improved speeds of getting medical test results, patients can be treated more quickly, and given the best chance possible.

Easier Diagnosis

The more advanced the equipment, the better the imaging. This the case with items such as a portable ultrasound machine. With crystal clear imaging, it can be easier for doctors to see, and therefore diagnose what the issue is with the patient. Previously, it had been known to happen that something that looked like an issue could have been a spot on the machine, but with new tech coming in to play, the room for error here is significantly reduced.

Growing Medical Practices

Thanks to a lot of new medical equipment being available, it is a lot easier for doctors to grow their medical practices. This means that they can see and treat more patients, as the equipment is readily available to do so. By doing this, patients no longer have to go out of their way to go to a medical practice, because the one closest to them is full.

We hope that you have found this article useful, and now know some of the ways in which tech has been benefiting the healthcare industry. These are just a few of the benefits, if you want to know more, you can find these online.

7 Tips To Make The Most Of Tech

What is a business without proper technology?

It’s the eternal question that every new entrepreneur faces. The answer often reopens the typical debate about technology; namely should a business invest in tech or should it instead focus on other factors of success such as hiring the right team, keeping track of the trends on the market and managing your brand reputation. In reality, every business knows that there is no growth without modern technology to sustain it. You wouldn’t consider keeping your business afloat without a website or an email address, for instance. However, skip back to the 1990s, and you’d be surprised to know that most companies refuse to move with their times, finding a paper-based and one-to-one approach more suitable to their markets.

While nowadays the question of whether you need a website or not is not relevant anymore, the decision approach when it comes to technology follows similar patterns. Many companies are still hesitant about the tech they choose and how to use it effectively in their everyday business. From cutting down unnecessary tech costs to ensuring you select the most relevant addition for your company, these few tips should help you to make the most of your tech day after day.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Business Technology
 
1. Find affordable equipment

First of all, it’s fair to say that for start-ups and small companies, investing in new technologies is not a decision you can take lightly. Indeed, for a lot of businesses with a limited budget, even the choice of the most necessary equipment can prove a huge and sometimes insurmountable expense. However, a business can’t do without the equipment that defines its day-to-day activities. From a small farming business to a family construction company, each piece of equipment demands substantial funds. When buying new is not a financial option, you can find the right auction online to get the best second-hand machinery for your activities. Ultimately, buying the previous tech generation at a low cost is often a preferable solution to breaking the bank for the latest generation of gadgets.

2. Make the most of your tax deductions

Nobody likes to pay taxes. But small companies often forget that they can take advantages of numerous tax regulations to maximize their access to technology. Indeed, the Section 179 deduction now allows small and mid-size business to take a first year deduction of up to $1 million on purchases of relevant and qualified equipment. You can also add the depreciation allowance to all the second-hand equipment that qualifies for your company. Ultimately, you can use tax deductions to increase your purchase power, which can help you to invest in new tech for the company. Similarly, you can also combine equipment deductions and energy-efficiency, for the purchase of tech that supports a green strategy. With a little bit of tax know-how – or the help of a certified accountant – you can be in a better position to afford the tech you need to grow your company.

3. Train your employees

Bringing new tech into the office is an essential step to maintain your agility on the market. Indeed, by keeping your production faster and more effective, you ensure your company the advantage of a competitive edge. At least, that’s the theory of it. In practice, new tech is pointless if you fail to train your team to use it. Indeed, you want to not only maintain the tech excitement but also maximize it for your organization. What this means is that you can’t prepare new tech investments without planning for training at the same time. As the two processes are intertwined, you can’t expect your tech to serve any purpose without delivery the appropriate training first.

4. New equipment means new risk assessment audit

With the introduction of new machinery and industrial equipment to your company, you also bring new risks. Indeed, industrial equipment requires high level maintenance and maneuvering to delivery the best possible performance. Failure to stay on top of your maintenance schedule or to follow the operational instructions for the machine can affect both your production and the safety of your employees. However, it’s important to note that each work environment presents unique circumstances that can also increase risks for your workforce. Consequently, if you want to ensure the positive impact of each piece of equipment, you need to work closely with a risk assessment auditor first. The consequences of ignoring risks can be dramatic for the company and the individuals employed within it.

5. Manage maintenance costs and schedule

The latest cyber attack on the British national health system, the NHS, has demonstrated the importance of staying on top of your maintenance schedules. Indeed, many NHS centers were forced to reduce tech upgrades in an effort to save costs. As a result, many IT security systems continued to be used even though they hadn’t been upgraded to the latest standards. By taking advantage of this tech flaws, cyber criminals hacked their way through the NHS systems and infected more than numerous computers all over the UK. The ransomware attack revealed that 97% of NHS centers didn’t use the latest safety procedures.

6. Ensure innovative tech doesn’t lead to disruption

There is a fine line between innovative tech that creates a positive disruption of an established process and new tech that affects the safety and effectiveness of existing operations. Indeed, exploiting tech development to offer better services or outputs can dramatically transform the customer experience. However, disruption requires a thorough understanding of the new patterns of risks and liabilities that are being created in the process. You need to research who is affected by the exciting novelties before launching a full-scale adoption.

7. Buy what you need, not what you want

Start-ups are the first to test out new tech. They love the excitement and value they get from new items. However, not everything that shines is precious. While it can be tempting to indulge in the purchase of the latest gadgets for the workplace, you need to question the strategic purpose of your tech in the business.

From a waste of money to a waste of resource, poor tech implementation can affect your business growth at many levels. Ensuring you can use technology as a boost on your way to success, instead of an obstacle, is the number one priority of all entrepreneurs.

Why Technology Is So Important In Business Practice

The information age got itself into full swing about 100 years ago, and we’re still living in it these days because of the amount of new information that can spring up in any sector in any market anywhere on the globe. As a result, it’s such a powerful time to run a business. You can be reached from anywhere and find the market you need instantly with a few search engine terms, and then operate on a larger scale than you ever would have been able to in the past. So with that in mind, here’s some of the mostly wide renowned reasons as to why technology is so important in our business practices.

Our Communication is So Much Better

Let’s consider this for a minute. When you’re able to write things down to send off, instead of speaking it to a person, we can draft out what we’re going to say. That means we can perfect our communicative skills, and make it a lot easier to close a deal with a few emails. Of course there’s no beating the natural charisma of the speech, but if you’re the kind of person who is in a leadership position and struggles with this, no longer do you need to think yourself turfed out because of it!

Not only does this impress possible investors and business connections, but you can also better perform customer service with the written word. No issues with connectivity over the phone, everything about a complaint is set out in front of you to refer back to, and you can focus on more than one task at once seeing as you’re using a screen instead of your voice. You can practice with online programs and apps without ever needing to hire out a service. It’s often a lot cheaper to run business through technology!

It Affects Our Operating Size

So whilst we may be a far cry away from replacing human workers with robots, despite burgeoning AI on the frontier, we can expand our businesses via the use of software. This is because everything is instantly accessible as long as you have an internet connection, and there’s hardly any countries left in the world where this isn’t reliable. Connectivity on a global scale means we can do international trading, conference calls across oceans, and bring in more and more people from the other side of the world with a whole wealth of talent. It’s incredibly exciting when you think about it!

You can even cut out a few hours of work time, or even lower the cost of hiring an accountant when you can do financial modeling on smart spreadsheets. It may still be a good idea to bring on someone who knows the numbers inside and out, as nothing is smarter than the human brain, but programs like this give people with lower budgets a better chance from the get go.

It Often Keeps Details More Secure

Of course in such a digital age you’re going to experience software bugs, and of course sometimes there’s the odd hack or two. However, having firewalls and digital security systems in place make these details you store on a network a lot more secure, plus they’re easier to reach for everyone involved in a transaction process.

On a more local scale, business operations can be kept secure by software from outside intrusion by competitors, and if you’re running a business that has a secret recipe involved in the creation of your product, this is where it’ll be the most safe. Even passwords alone are a great deterrent!

So the general theme is that if you have software systems in place to encrypt the data of customers, you’re not going to lose it in the back of a filing cabinet or need to input the same information everytime it comes to it, plus you’re better protected against any malware willing to get into your data banks. Don’t underestimate the power of technology when it comes to this purpose, and remember that customers always have a choice to either have their details remembered or not; you’re simply providing a better alternative for them to avoid hassle!

Overall, technology makes business easier and safer to conduct, and there’s a whole world of it out there for you to explore as an entrepreneur. Startups have never had such a strong foundation age, and whenever a sustainable business crops up on the block, it means the information age has done its bit for the future.

Technologies Your Business Really Can’t Afford Not To Embrace

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Historians will look back on this time as an era of epochal change. They will see this as a time of technological revolution where science fiction met with science fact. A lot of the technologies themselves have been around, in some form or another for decades but through generations of refinement and repurposing, we are now witnesses to the emergence of technologies that will change the world.

It is through their strategic use that you can change the face of your business.

To say that these are exciting times is an understatement, yet it’s surprising how slow some businesses are in embracing technology. Sure, they use it to facilitate their day-to-day function but when it comes to thinking outside of the box and bringing their business right to the bleeding edge of the technological revolution they can find themselves faltering. Of course, we mustn’t blame them. It’s in the nature of entrepreneurs, especially those who are fairly new to the business world to keep a close eye on overheads and as important as it may be, staying ahead of the technological curve has never been cheap. After all, investing in new technologies is one thing, but investment in technology also requires investment in training so that your staff have the skills and expertise to implement it effectively.

Whatever the nature of your business, there are certain technologies that are slowly and quietly but consistently revolutionizing the ways in which businesses operate and the tech savvy business can either get in on the ground floor or face the combined impediments of increased running costs, lower output and reduced productivity. The pertinence of each to your business’ specific needs may vary but across all industries these are the ones to watch…

3D printing

From the automotive industry to construction and even medicine, it seems like there isn’t a single industry that 3D printing is failing to revolutionize. The ability to print on a huge or a tiny scale using precision engineered hybrid stepper motors is an obvious boon to a range of industries and although the technology is still fairly nascent, it seems to find a new technology every day. 3D printing technology represents a second industrial revolution. Theoretically, 3D printers may one day be as common as household ink printers facilitating the purchase of a huge range of products online that can be 3D printed at home virtually instantly.

Like all technologies, however, 3D printing has a dark side, with criminal applications including the 3D printing of illegal firearms is already an unfortunate reality.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Lasers

If your business is involved in manufacture, and reliant upon precision cutting, you probably already use lasers in some capacity. The C02 laser cutter already has an enormous range of applications across a wide range of industries. Jewelers use them for engraving personalized pieces, the construction industry uses them for the cutting of and treatment of wood and metal and a range of surgeries are carried out using these lasers.

Its cousin the fiber laser, on the other hand is used increasingly in the 3d printing of tiny and complex machine parts for which precision is paramount. Recently, however, these laser technologies have been supplanted by direct diode lasers which have already been incorporated into a variety of industries. The advantage of these lasers over their counterparts is that they represent a more energy efficient alternative that is every bit as versatile and currently used in a range of applications such as industrial welding. As direct diode lasers are far more energy efficient they can allow your business to make huge savings in running costs without compromising on versatility.

WebAssembly a revolution and an evolution

The uninitiated could be forgiven for assuming that WebAssembly just another programming language. It is, in fact, more than that. It’s a new standard binary format for web design. If you need to outsource a company to design browser-based software for your business, it pays to use WebAssembly. Compiling applications in WebAssembly is advantageous as it enables them to run as fast as native applications, meaning that browser-based applications run seamlessly and quicker than ever. The potential applications are limitless but the most obvious candidates include seamless online gaming as well as incorporating browser based augmented and virtual reality applications, and of course a renaissance in more complex and feature rich web applications.

Apps

Soon (very soon) we’ll reach the point where having an app for your business will be as necessary and ubiquitous as having a website. In an age where 30% of all e-commerce purchases in the US are made through mobile apps, it’s not hard to see why. Whatever the nature of your business you would benefit more than you may think from an app.

Retailers especially find that they can use apps not just to facilitate transactions but to promote brand awareness and incentivize customer loyalty. Uber remain a historically great example of how to expand your reach by incentivizing customers to refer their friends, family and colleagues to your service by offering both new and existing customers discounts. That’s a win for the business and both customers.

Merely having a presence on the app store can be helpful in bringing new potential leads to your business, although with over 1,600 apps published daily, savvy businesses need to take steps to ensure that their app stands out. Here you will find some tips on helping your app to get featured thereby bringing millions of potential leads into contact with your business.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Virtual and augmented reality

If you thought that VR died with risible sci fi films like Lawnmower Man in the ’90s and that augmented reality extended to chasing up and down the highstreet searching for Pokemon, think again. Few could have preempted in the technophobic ’80s and ’90s that VR would go on to have a huge range of business and consumer applications. Gaming is a no-brainer, obviously, with Oculus Rift and Playstation VR no longer high-end speculations, but a mainstream entry into the consumer electronics landscape.

Already, a range of retailers are using augmented reality to create a novel and immersive consumer experience. Vehicle manufacturers, for example, are increasingly making use of virtual showrooms. VR and AR also have implications for a range of businesses as a training aide with all manner of on the job training and orientation potentially taking place in a risk free virtual environment.

Artificial intelligence and chatbots

There was a time when we thought that Artificial Intelligence would take over the world… and it may yet, but in less of a Terminator-y way and more in a way that benefits a wide range of contemporary businesses. Of course a lot of retailers and entertainment streaming services from Netflix to iTunes to Amazon already use a rudimentary AI to catalogue user interactions. This helps them to gauge their preferences and make recommendations accordingly but it’s really in many ways just the tip of the iceberg. Use of AI algorithms on a range of customer facing applications can potentially play a huge part in reducing staffing overheads for small businesses.

Drones

Drone technology is nothing new. In fact it has had military applications dating back to the Vietnam war, but it’s only in recent years that drone technology has been adopted in a range of civilian applications from war correspondence to ordnance mapping. If your business deals in any way with direct-to-consumer logistics then you may find yourself really embracing drone technology in the near future. UPS, for example began staging mock deliveries of emergency medical care in areas typically considered hard to reach last year.

With so many technological changes on the horizon, it’s up to you to decide which advances can help you to revolutionize your business.