64% of SMBs use cloud technology for running their business more effectively. And that number is sure to continue increasing in the foreseeable future.
Tech Management 101: 4 Ways to Identify Our Company’s Technology Needs
Technology can make running a business much easier. It can sometimes even completely transform how your company operates, providing it with numerous benefits to gain an advantage over the competition.
But at the same time, you must be deliberate about the technology and digital solutions you implement if you want it to serve your business and not become a strain on your budget and processes.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the critical steps for identifying the key technology needs in your company that you should address.
Consider Your Legal Protection
Technology can contribute to a wide range of aspects of running a business. You can streamline and automate marketing processes, improve customer support, and nurture leads for a boost in sales performance.
But an often-overlooked part of running a digital business is protecting yourself from a legal standpoint. You need to know that the digital documents and records you store will uphold the standards required to be legally admissible and useful. And that’s where the BS 10008 standard can help.
But what is BS 10008? Well, it stands for British Standard on Evidential weight and legal admissibility of Electronically Stored Information (ESI).
It’s a way for organizations to prove that their digital records are trustworthy and can be used to settle legal disputes and ensure that the documents will hold up in case they ever needed to.
While this is not something you’d like to occur, disputes with clients and business partners are a risk that comes with running a business.
There’s no guarantee it will ever happen, but if it should, you should be ready to present your digital records as proof of the commitments that were made.
Having this type of protection for your digital documents can also aid in your digital transformation efforts. It will ensure that the digital records will hold up in court, and you won’t have to provide paper originals.
So, even though getting the certification can take time and effort, the protections and peace of mind it offers make it a worthwhile process in most situations.
Implement Digital Transformation the Right Way
The advantages offered by digital transformation are becoming impossible to ignore. The ability to manage resources more effectively, protect your records, and make more data-driven decisions are just a few of the key benefits you can expect, which is why more companies are deciding to shift from paper record storage in their operations.
But at the same time, it’s essential to consider the best practices of digital transformation so that you actually reap the unique advantages it can bring and not end up with an equally inefficient process that’s simply transformed into a digital format.
And that’s why one of the first considerations you should make is choosing the right technical documentation software that offers the necessary features and matches your company’s unique needs.
If you’re like most companies, you probably have not just typical documents such as contracts but also more technical docs that define product specifications, designs, manufacturing processes, liabilities, descriptions, blueprints, and anything else that’s essential for the technical side of running the business.
Viewing and editing these documents requires a different set of tools than traditional documents, which is why technical documentation software can be immensely helpful.
It can help make these documents searchable, allowing your team to find and access the right documents quickly and significantly improving the efficiency of various processes.
What’s more, with this type of solution, you can rest assured that your documents will be protected from getting lost or accessed by unauthorized parties, which could have a detrimental effect on your company’s future.
Talk with Your Team
Executives and business owners have a tough challenge of distilling the most pressing technological needs in their company.
But while they can bring forth ideas and best practices from other companies, that’s not a comprehensive enough approach since it doesn’t account for your team’s everyday experiences and challenges.
That’s why, when making decisions about what technology to implement, you should also rely on input from your employees. These are the people who have specialized knowledge in their area and can provide you with unique insights about how a technological improvement might be useful.
You may also find areas that need your urgent attention, allowing you to prioritize accordingly and postpone the less needed technology until the problem is solved.
Often, talking with your employees will provide you with insights you couldn’t have gotten any other way. You may discover that there are simple and affordable ways to use technology that could have a dramatic effect on productivity, resource allocation, and your bottom line.
Listen to Your Customers
Finally, to identify your company’s technology needs, you should take a look at what your customers are saying and try to find ways to solve problems using the technology available today.
For instance, if you find that your customers are unhappy with your customer service, the problem might be that your support team is using outdated processes and equipment, which creates a backlog of inquiries and delays resolution.
If that’s the case, streamlining processes using modern customer service software solutions could free up more time for helping customers while simultaneously increasing the number of channels that you can offer help through.
If you find that many of your customers reach out with the same basic issues, you could also use a knowledge base solution to set up a resource base that your support staff can use themselves and refer customers to, saving a lot of time in the process.
These are just a few examples of how relatively simple and easy-to-implement technological solutions can completely change how your business operates and set you up for success in the long-term future.
But to discover these opportunities, you must be willing to listen to the people you want to cater to and see how you could be doing better.
If the indirect insights from customer reviews and support calls don’t provide you with enough insights, you could even consider organizing interviews, surveys or polls, aimed at identifying areas that need your attention.
Adopting the right technology can have a huge effect on your company’s future. And in some situations, making sure you are up-to-date on the technology used in your industry is not just about gaining an advantage but also about making sure you can keep up with forward-thinking competitors.
Luckily, if you take the time to implement processes that protect your documents, help you move into the digital world, and take into account the experiences of your staff and customers, you will always be able to make informed decisions about what technology to choose and prioritize.