There’s not as much debate on businesses’ need to use technology as there is on how to best leverage it. The existence of so many software programs and hardware devices is overwhelming enough. Add the complexities of a constantly evolving technology landscape, and your choices can become clear as mud. For a company, it’s about using tools to become as efficient and growth-oriented as possible. When choosing them slows you down, that’s the last thing you need.
Undoubtedly, navigating this landscape requires a map. To select technology with efficiency and long-term success in mind, alignment between those goals and tools’ capabilities is a must. So is finding solutions with the right fit for your business model. Let’s dive into how today’s leaders can adopt and optimize technology to their companies’ advantage.
Look at Those Workflows
Theoretically, most people know what a workflow is. It’s how a task moves from start to finish. Workflows usually involve tasks someone must complete repeatedly. Think patient intakes in a hospital’s emergency room or phone orders for a wireless service carrier. While a couple of details might vary, the gist of the process stays the same.
Because of this, there’s more than one repetitive step involved. Applications with built-in workflow automation can boost efficiency by reducing this repetition for employees. Examples include contract management software, customer relationship management apps, and inventory solutions.
For instance, nearly every business manages contracts on some level. It could be nondisclosure agreements for your vendors and employees. You could also have service-level agreements for your clients, plus work contracts for suppliers and independent contractors. Chances are the language in these documents is standardized according to agreement type. Why not make everyone’s job easier by using preloaded templates?
Furthermore, software solutions can make the entire contract process flow faster and smoother. There are fewer opportunities for mishaps from writing and revising to capturing signatures and distributing final copies. Leveraging technology for efficiency’s sake means discovering streamlining opportunities for repetitive workflows. There’s bound to be an app capable of reducing and eliminating your specific workflow redundancies.
Close Digital Security Gaps
Operating a modern business means connecting with others online. Even if your network is 100% internal, it’s not a sure thing since outside threats can still sneak in. Employees can receive phishing emails with malicious links and attachments. They can plug an infected USB drive into a company server or laptop. Vendors might also expose your network to threats when they work on your infrastructure.
Yes, cybersecurity threats have become part of another typical day at the office. However, no company wants to deal with the aftermath of an actual breach. You might have anti-malware and firewall software in place. But if you think this is strong enough protection, you’re mistaken. Today’s cybercriminals are getting more skilled and savvier by the minute.
You want comprehensive cybersecurity tools to protect your company’s assets and client data. The list includes anti-phishing software, data breach simulators, and network monitoring apps. Data breach simulators, in particular, identify security gaps before hackers can exploit them. Instead of bracing your staff for cyberattack attempts, you can put them in a better position to ward them off.
Hire With Ease
Recruiting can get complicated. Between the screening and interviewing, it’s not unusual for the process to drag on for months. The more integral the position is to your company’s success, the more challenging finding a suitable candidate can be. What if your first choice doesn’t work out? Or there’s an applicant you didn’t hire, but now a better-suited position is available? The longer a hiring process goes on, the greater the risk is you’ll lose your top applicants.
Once your company gets a reputation for putting people through tedious steps and delays, some qualified job seekers won’t bother. They’ll send resumes to other organizations with more streamlined procedures. Your company will lose out now and in the future. Losing out can be detrimental since people’s skills and contributions are what enable an organization to succeed. You need an efficient way to source, screen, communicate, and stay in touch with candidates.
Recruiting software organizes the process from job ads to offer letters. It simplifies the screening process with AI, machine learning, and sorting capabilities. Automated emails can go out at each step, but these messages don’t have to be completely impersonal. To customize communications, the software leverages applicant data, which can also feed into analytics for hiring decisions.
Analytics can shorten the debate period if you’re torn between two candidates. Some recruiting software also comes with upskilling and reskilling capabilities for internal candidates. Once they’ve expressed interest in a potential future role, the software can identify them as fast-track candidates. This feature can apply to upward and lateral career paths.
When communication breaks down, productivity follows in the same downward direction. Reasons range from feeling purposefully excluded to uncertainty about what to do. Return-to-office mandates won’t exempt your team from cohesion problems, either. Collaboration issues usually stem from a lack of clarity about expectations and responsibilities.
To achieve cohesion, you need unity around a single source of truth. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of in-fighting and lowered morale. The existence of these factors may do more than cause delays. They can prevent your company from meeting its goals. If your objectives are essential for survival, repeat misses won’t bode well for the future. In-fighting and reduced morale may impede well-designed strategies since employees won’t be as invested in collective success.
Project management and collaboration software are typical options for getting everyone on the same page. So are intranets and knowledge bases detailing standard procedures. Continually having to turn to the person in the next cubicle or run to a manager for guidance is a productivity killer. It’s fine occasionally, but colleagues and clients might lose confidence when employees don’t have the resources to answer questions themselves. Tools and knowledge bases that provide these answers keep workers from feeling stuck or frustrated by a lack of direction.
Leveraging Tech’s Capabilities
When you use technology to boost efficiency and growth, you don’t want to implement every tool out there. A device may look impressive, but that doesn’t make it a good fit for those who will use it. In addition, a complex app might be too complicated for employees and customers to fully adopt. Integrating technology to create new advantages and augment existing ones starts with what makes companies successful — strategic processes and people.