Many people fantasise about starting a business, but few of them are prepared with the resources that they need to succeed. In the information age, having up-to-date technology is critical to the success of any venture. Even so, technology is often an afterthought for dreamers and entrepreneurs. Here are six key technologies and tech strategies you might never have considered for your business.
1. Advanced Telecom Infrastructure
The big story in telecommunications over the past year and a half has been the establishment of 5G connectivity over much of the US (in around 100 cities as of 2021). This is important because with many people working remotely and virtual conferencing being seen by many as a time-saving alternative to meetings, speed and bandwidth have never been more important to everyday business processes. Convergent charging as a convenient method of billing has emerged along with these advancements as a way of streamlining the payment of multiple streams of service and is just one example of a business adapting to innovation.
2. Digital Organisational Tools
The age of the Rolodex is long gone. A wide array of digital tools now exist to streamline basic bookkeeping and organisation. One of the simplest and most common is accounting software, which can help keep your general ledger free of human error. Beyond these simple applications, sophisticated project management software exists that can help
3. Business Analytics Software
Business analytics is the art (and science) of using knowledge of past business performance to better gauge the potential for future accomplishments. Part of this requires human know-how, but in an age of big data, analytical software can be a massive help. Business activity monitoring software can act as a constant intel report on your digital business processes. Online analytical processing (OLAP) tools help users consolidate and analyse data from several different perspectives. Advanced data mining systems might be able to make connections in data sets that a human eye would miss. It all comes down to the fact that investing in business intelligence software can help you to better know your business and its potential.
4. Solid Web Security
The statistics really are shocking. The average cost of a data breach is around $146 per record compromised. With both company and client records being online and thus vulnerable, the cost of being hacked can easily drive a small business to bankruptcy. Antivirus software for all endpoints is a good place to start, but also consider more advanced solutions like multi factor authentication for website access and firewall programs to help guard against malware. Here’s another thing to remember: A recent Verizon report found that about 85% of cyberattacks used the top 10 exploits, so when a new security patch becomes available, install it. Too few business owners do.
5. Optimised Organisational Structure
Technology is only as good as the deployment strategy you have for it. The most common way to organise a business is hierarchical, meaning the traditional structure of CEO, middle management and workers. It offers a recognisable chain of command and promotes specialisation, which can create a culture of technical expertise, but it can also limit adaptability and the flow of knowledge. A flat organisational structure creates more generalists by decentralising authority and responsibility, which can result in a more flexible workforce. Figure out which works best for your business and consider making a change.
6. A Cohesive Vision
The collective vision of a company goes far beyond its business plan. The most important part of having a forward-thinking operation is developing a vision that embraces progress as part of the corporate culture. Often, technology is thought of as an irredeemable force for complication in our lives, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The best example of this is green technology. Aligning our work with natural processes has a tendency to streamline things, not make them worse. It’s amazing what can happen when smart business owners aren’t afraid of change.
Starting a business can be the best decision you’ve ever made, but only if you have the tools necessary to compete. Scaling up your tech portfolio will keep your business resilient and successful in the years to come.
For further business, advice see the Gov website.