Technology has changed the way we live and work, so it’s not surprising that it’s at the heart of virtually every business. From automated production lines to robotic surgical techniques, entire industries are being transformed by technology.
For business owners, technology can be a boon or a burden. Despite its potential, implementing the wrong type of tech or failing to upgrade at the right time can put your business at a disadvantage. In contrast, implementing the right tech solutions can fast-track your growth and enable you to outperform your competitors.
To ensure you make the most of the opportunities that technology brings, take a look at these five ways tech can optimise your business performance:
#1 Big Data
Companies have been capable of producing vast amounts of data for years, but it’s only relatively recently that they’ve been able to put it to good use. Until the advent of Big Data, terabytes and exabytes of data were routinely siloed because organisations were simply unable to process or analyse it.
Now that the era of Big Data has arrived, businesses can use the data they acquire to gain useful insights. Whether you want to know more about your customer’s behaviours and opinions or you want to chart sales trends over the past decade, creating your own algorithms and using artificial intelligence (AI) enables you to analyse data in order to get the insights you need.
However, Big Data isn’t only relevant when it comes to your own company’s data. In fact, new data analytics methods can be used to glean useful information regarding whole industries, entire sectors and even countries. With the potential to provide access to a wide variety of market data, you can make informed data-driven decisions to increase your professional success.
For centuries, humans have looked for ways to automate manual processes. Recognising the efficiency and improve quality that automation can bring, we’ve always been eager to embrace new processes and technologies. Of course, today’s automation options are far more advanced than anything the average person could have imagined even a decade ago.
Businesses across all industries can now automate processes in order to maximise efficiency and productivity. What’s more – relying on technology and automation, rather than human resources, can decrease costs and enhance quality.
Whether you’re automating production lines and inventory management or marketing campaigns and customer service, it’s a fantastic way to optimise your business performance and increase profitability.
#3 Staff Training and Career Development
When you hire new staff, you need to provide a period of induction training to ensure they’re familiar with in-house processes. Similarly, companies routinely train staff to ensure they’re up to date with industry changes or modifications to policies. Traditionally, this was done face-to-face, with larger firms hosting events for a large number of staff so that training could be conducted efficiently. In reality, this meant that staff were unable to maintain their existing workload while undertaking training.
Similarly, providing staff with career development opportunities often meant agreeing to them taking a sabbatical or giving them time off work to enhance their skills. Although businesses could benefit from an employee’s development, this approach increased the cost to the company.
Now that remote, online learning is widely accessible, however, training and career development can take place in any environment. Furthermore, employees can be encouraged to pursue career development opportunities in their own time, rather than needing to take time off work.
From providing critical health and safety training to enrolling top-level staff on an online, remote DBA UK program from Aston University, you can invest in your team at a reduced cost and reap the benefits. Indeed, many business owners are also opting to enhance their skills and management techniques via remote learning and online platforms.
#4 Predictive Analytics
Though Big Data is, in itself, revolutionary for businesses, the impact of predictive analytics can be even more transformative. When you use AI and machine learning to process vast amounts of data, algorithms can also use this information to make predictions about the future. Known as predictive analytics, companies are already using this type of technology to predict how consumer trends will evolve.
By doing so, you can implement effective strategies that will enable you to cater to the needs and wants of your target audience. Similarly, the insights gleaned via predictive analytics give you the information you need to make data-driven decisions regarding the growth of your business. By using historical and current data to make accurate assessments about the future, you can scale your business with greater certainty and success.
#5 Remote Working
At one time, the location of your business premises was one of the decisive factors in determining your commercial success. Even in a non-customer facing environment, having your premises located in a commercial hub ensured that you were able to attract talented staff and recruit the best team.
As technology has evolved, however, the world of work has changed irrevocably. Now, professionals can work from any location and communicate with colleagues instantaneously and in real-time. Cloud computing ensures systems and documents can be hosted securely in a virtual environment, for example, which means that workers can access resources from home, from regional work hubs or even from different continents.
By making the most of this flexible approach, you can move away from housing staff in one, single building and embrace a distributed workforce instead. As a result, you’ll reduce your operating costs and be able to offer an optimal work-life balance to your employees. Furthermore, a remote workforce ensures that you’ll face no barriers when it comes to hiring the best people, regardless of where they’re based.
Using Tech to Transform Your Business
It’s no secret that the most successful businesses are those that use technology to streamline processes and increase sales. By developing a tech strategy, you can determine how and where technology can be used to optimise your operations. Furthermore, a comprehensive tech strategy will enable you to evaluate what type of tech to use to maximise the return on your investment and boost your long-term commercial success.