Technological advancements don’t stop for anything, including Covid-19. During 2020, innovators kept testing and iterating, pushing technology farther ahead despite the pandemic. Though your business may have scaled back on spending a ton on tech last year, you’ll need an upgrade soon.
What’s the risk of sticking to what works? Quite honestly, most things we use (especially tech) won’t work forever.
Even your legacy software is bound to turn clunky, no matter how well it seems to meet your current needs. That’s why it’s essential to start making changes now before your tech gets too old for a seamless transition.
If you’re not sure where to begin in terms of revitalizing your corporate technology, consider these seven suggestions.
1. Give Your Team the Fastest Internet Possible
Switching Internet providers may not top your list of to-dos. It should be, though. Now is not the time for a snail’s pace online connection. Far too many businesses simply accept that their Internet will be ridiculously slow from time to time. Yet slow Internet has serious repercussions.
Case in point: Everyone’s experienced an arduous Zoom meeting with maddening lag times and freeze-ups. What kind of an impression do those interactions make on prospective clients or talented job candidates? What does a slow connection do to your own employees? And downloads that take forever or ones that stall? They’re cutting into profits.
Consequently, whether your team is remote, in-house, or a mix of the two, your employees, clients and prospects need high speed Internet.
2. Move All Collaboration to the Cloud
Teleworking doesn’t raise eyebrows anymore. But is your company getting it right or still merely getting by? Consider your collaboration efforts for a moment. Is it easy for colleagues to share documents and information? Or do they have to take extra steps to get each other key data?
Minutes matter, especially for sales and customer experience professionals. Forcing a frustrated consumer to wait because your employees can’t find what they need isn’t acceptable. Customer behavior has changed radically, and patience (let alone loyalty) isn’t high on buyers’ priorities.
Migrating all your sharing platforms to a centralized, cloud-based location can take away barriers to wooing and keeping customers.
3. Think Contactless Whenever Possible
People are hesitant to have too much contact with one another, given the cyclical rates of Covid spread. Technology can help your company provide safer interfaces between coworkers and the community members you serve. How? The answer is through contactless and minimal contact touchpoints.
Brainstorm the ways your organization could use technological gadgets or solutions to decrease the need for physical exchanges. For instance, you might embrace contactless payment options, no matter if you’re B2B or B2C.
Could you focus on some type of self-service model? How about installing no-touch scanners that read employees’ and visitors’ body temperatures upon entering the building? Leveraging innovations creatively keeps everyone secure and feeling like your organization is ahead of the curve.
4. Standardize Tech Equipment
You can update all the systems you want, it’s true. However, if your employees are working on older equipment, they won’t necessarily get the benefits. As a result, you may want to go all-in and revamp everyone’s tech “tool chest.”
A tech-type investment levels the playing field in a hurry. No longer will one coworker be forced to deal with an eight-year-old PC while another uses a newer Apple laptop. You should see a bump in productivity rapidly after ensuring everyone has the same tech (plus, employees find new things in the tech and teach each other — bonus training!).
Also, you’ll know that your workers aren’t relying on their personal devices, which can put your proprietary data at risk.
5. Invest in a Strong Cybersecurity System
Right now, cyber thieves are having a field day. Many companies with remote teams haven’t completely figured out how to lock down and protect their systems. Consequently, they’re creating large security gaps that career hackers are exploiting en masse.
A data breach, especially of sensitive customer or employee data, isn’t something to take lightly. In fact, it can quickly become a public relations nightmare that chews up your resources to resolve. Therefore, your tech stack should include the strongest cybersecurity protection you can afford. You don’t have to overspend, of course. Nevertheless, take online security seriously and find a tech partner you can trust to protect your digital assets.
6. Automate with AI
AI has revolutionized what’s possible for businesses, including the reduction of redundant tasks. Thanks to tremendous scaling, AI-powered software is an affordable choice for companies of all sizes, including startups.
Where should you use AI? Start with your customer relations in the form of automated chatbots. Then, move to anything from AI-enhanced social listening to curation and analysis of key customer data. You’ll achieve more without having to overburden your employees, who may already be feeling the prior 12 months’ stress.
7. Use Team Collaboration Tools
When your company moved to virtual working, did you start texting like crazy? Regular texting has its benefits: It’s quick and fairly intuitive. Nonetheless, you’re risking a secure text being inadvertently sent by a worker to a non-employee. Plus, normal texting doesn’t keep all your corporate communications in one place.
To keep communication in one place you’ll use a service like Slack. Though it might seem strange to move everyone to a specialized app — you’ll see the difference rapidly. A solution like Slack allows you to add channels, categorize texts, and do more than you can with basic texting. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked and so will your employees.
If you vow to complete one business-related resolution this year, make sure it’s to revitalize your technology. It’s worth paying a little more each month to stay competitive and wow the world. You’ll want to wow the world in 2021.
Image Credit: gabby k; pexels; thank you!