This year many businesses ramped up their digitisation strategies which are changing the ways that businesses operate altogether. Remote working drove big changes in how we communicate, collaborate, and work together. And technology is at the core of how business owners are adapting.
The one thing about shifts such as the global pandemic and technology in how we work is that they bring with them a multitude of ways that businesses can adapt to be better. Warren Bonheim, Managing Director of Zinia, a leading ICT and telecoms provider, shares six essential technologies that businesses can affordably implement to adapt.
Telephony – enter the cloud
As the pandemic shifted us into a remote working scenario, many companies using traditional telephone systems - PBXs - did not have the flexibility to shift quickly. Hosted PBX enabled remote working in a massive way. The PBX is hosted in the cloud at a telecom provider’s premises, your telephone network runs through the Internet Protocol (IP) versus traditional phone line infrastructure and is fully managed by a provider.
This gives your employees the same telephony functions as if they were in the office, and your customers a professional experience with your company. Employees can receive and make calls professionally from anywhere as long as they have access to the Internet or mobile data. Via an app on a mobile device, their phone becomes an extension of the company PBX and employees can make and receive calls as if they are sitting at their desk.
Cloud business software – hello remote working
Your employees need to continue using business office technology that they are highly familiar with. They need to access these systems wherever they are on any device. With software such as Microsoft 365 in the cloud, employees are able to stream all their applications, data and tools – including their personalised settings – from the cloud to any device whether it is a laptop, computer, iPad or mobile phone. Employees can work from anywhere, provide a consistent customer experience, and they can do their work productively.
Virtual meetings became the norm enabled by technologies like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype and Google Meet. One thing we saw companies embrace are integrated systems like with Microsoft, where work, collaboration and communication happens within one business ecosystem; with Teams for example, employees can share files, organise meetings from their calendar and sync with other office apps.
Productivity – data for managers
The productivity of your employees is the driving force of your business. And in the fast-paced new world of teams working remotely, and in the office, making sure everyone is achieving their full potential is a challenge for most companies.
Productivity technologies have emerged which provide workforce analytics to help you understand your people and how they work on their computers. Innovative employee monitoring software allows managers to gain real-time insights via easy-to-understand dashboards, graphs, and reports to know how their team is doing and when to take action if needed.
Virtualising almost everything is definitely here in a big way. This means that your company can use a virtual - instead of an actual version of something – for example a server, network, operating system, or storage device. Some of the benefits you can take advantage of is having quicker backups and easier disaster recovery if something should go wrong – you can literally move say a virtual server quickly and be back up and running in no time. Also, virtualising your environment means lower costs because you don’t need expensive hardware.
Managed Services – outsourcing to specialists
As managing costs become key in a downturn, looking for ways to ensure accurate budgeting or reigning in IT costs is key. Through managed services, which means outsourcing parts or all of your IT to a specialist, you can focus on your core business while saving on high IT resource costs.
These companies have invested heavily in smart systems which allows them to provide a host of services for SME’s at an affordable fee. From IT support, anti-virus protection, backups, cybersecurity, network management …you name it, these days most managed service providers can take care of your IT, while you focus on growing your company.
Artificial Intelligence – let’s go automation
Automation is one of the biggest breakthroughs in business today essentially allowing you to use tech to deliver or get services without any human intervention. From an IT perspective, a human can only do so much in the time they have. You can now automate 1000s of routine IT tasks, plus using AI tech you can now anticipate, diagnose and fix any issues that crop up before they become a problem. This kind of proactive approach to tech means that your IT environment is not constantly breaking down which can be very costly.
So, there you have it, the 6 technologies businesses are using to take full advantage of digitisation and to adapt to the new world of work.