There’s no shortage of technology trend-spotting among various experts, especially at this still relatively early time of year. But rather than making long-range futuristic predictions, we thought it would be useful to focus briefly on what is happening now with our customers, and share what we think is important for the remainder of 2017.
Processes – not just for the record
Is your business expanding? Are your underlying processes and functions becoming more complex? If a staff member leaves, could you quickly train up a replacement?
A challenge for businesses that we’re seeing is making sure processes and procedures are properly documented and not just living in the heads of individuals. With a more rapid rate of change in technology developments and in our clients’ markets, increased staff turnover can also be an issue. In this environment it’s imperative that your underlying processes are recorded.
Documenting processes ensures the consistency of your business operations, helps you stay in control of the day-to-day workings of your organisation and provides a stable foundation for growth. For us, it just makes good business sense!
Mobile is the new normal
Not so long ago mobile applications were considered peripheral to retrieving information via a desktop. But this is no longer the case. Most businesses today need to look at their customer’s interactions from a mobile-first perspective, i.e. assume they are researching or shopping on their smartphone.
It’s the same when looking at the mobility of the people in your business – making sure that information is there when people need it, e.g. staff should be able to access information from anywhere rather than emailing files to themselves.
Yes, mobility has been talked about for a few years, but here are three fundamental reasons for why mobile is now coming into a new era of necessity:
- Mobile technologies are now more mature and reliable – they have been tried and tested over a few years
- Consumer expectations have risen and are more broad-based, e.g. not just sales, everyone from CEOs to administration staff is now a ‘road warrior’
- The sheer volume of email and communications – you need to be mobile-ready to stay on top of things otherwise it doesn’t take long to get buried
How well is your business placed to meet the reality of today’s mobility demands?
No more head in the Cloud
There are no prizes for guessing that Cloud is probably in every 2017 tech predictions list – but let’s look at the reasons why.
This trend is important because now that the first wave of ‘early adopters’ has migrated to cloud technology, the much bulkier second wave, or ‘early majority’, is starting to come through.
Initially many businesses were concerned about their data being held elsewhere – in an undefined space, and wanted to keep it on their own servers in a specified location. But people are generally more comfortable and accepting of the idea now. So rather than questioning where Amazon actually kept your website and your server – now it’s just “with Amazon”.
While Cloud is now decidedly more mainstream, many businesses have still not considered making changes, perhaps because it hasn’t been a major pain point or priority. Likewise, it’s important to note that Cloud is not always the right solution or ‘fix all’ for a particular business.
Start with the business
It’s easy to be attracted to the latest developments in technology and imagine how your business could use the new products. But we’ve found that customers can save a lot of time and expense if they first take a look at their existing business processes.
It’s likely that you are used to doing things in a certain way but know that there is room for improvement. Have you asked the people on the ground what they really need to be more effective? As a first step, could your processes be streamlined?
In working with clients we’ve found that it’s far better for businesses to update their operations to be a better fit for the technology rather than the other way around.
Trying to make the technology work in a way it was never intended for is costly and inefficient. By considering your existing processes first, you’ll get a lot more out of the technology and have more chance of realising its full potential to your business, while not wasting money unnecessarily!
Taking charge of change management
Often businesses get caught up with the ‘how’ and ‘what’ of technology and process changes while not paying enough attention to how staff will be affected. To ensure the success of a project it’s essential to take into account the people factor.
Particularly now with changing work patterns and the challenges arising from having a mix of generations in the workplace, e.g. younger people tend to embrace change more readily and be more comfortable with the benefits of a new technology than older generations.
It’s vital that you have a change management strategy in place before embarking on major changes to your business operations. A communication plan will be key to this, as well as an understanding that different people will react in different ways.
Think about some examples you might have seen already in your business, or in similar businesses. Was the outcome as expected? What worked well and what parts not so well?
The best tech for your business
At Correct Solutions, we keep a keen eye on all the “future” technologies emerging around the globe. But we are also focused on constantly getting better at enhancing our customers’ businesses. We want to ensure we’re a step ahead of our customers but not too far ahead that they can’t keep up!
We look forward to talking to you about how to apply the latest tech trends into your business in the most effective and cost-efficient way in 2017. Get in touch with Aaron Smith on 1300 267 765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.