The operational benefits of technology are well-established. From secure data storage to scalable cloud resources and on-demand application access, technology helps businesses streamline day-to-day tasks.
And tech can do more than boost efficiency. It can also enhance workplace productivity — 76% of business owners say that technology boosts employee output.
What does this look like in practice, and what do companies need to turn technology tools into productive partners? Here’s a look at how organizations can expand their tech toolboxes and make the most of the solutions they deploy.
Expanding Your Toolbox: Four Options for Tech Success
There’s no shortage of great tech tools on the market. Many businesses struggle more with abundance than absence — the sheer number of options available makes it challenging to find best-fit solutions that strike a balance between benefits and budget.
While every technology deployment is unique, four approaches are common to help kickstart productivity improvements.
1. Communication tools
First are communication and collaboration tools. Popular examples are options such as Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and Slack. While forms may differ, functions remain consistent: These solutions make it easier for staff to connect, collaborate, and get work done.
They offer benefits such as real-time messaging, data access on-demand, and the integration of e-signatures. Effectively implemented, communication tools help reduce the time required for employees to find the resources they need to finish projects on time.
2. Data analytics applications
Data analytics apps help businesses curate and correlate massive amounts of information quickly and easily. Widely used tools include Tableau, Microsoft Power BI and Google Analytics. Each specializes in a different data domain. For example, Power BI is often used for data visualization, Tableau is designed for business intelligence and Google Analytics can help companies analyze web traffic.
What they have in common, however, is the ability to make disparate data sets actionable and understandable using dashboards and visualizations. Equipped with this information, businesses can make data-driven decisions that both address current concerns and set the stage for future success.
3. Automation solutions
As IT infrastructure becomes more complex, automation solutions are critical to streamline processes and reduce the amount of manual effort required. Tools such a Microsoft Power Automate, Appian, UiPath, and Nintex RPA make it possible for businesses to automate processes such as data collection, error identification, and issue reporting.
Opting for automation offers two substantive benefits for businesses. First, the use of automated tools for data collecting significantly reduces the risk of manual errors. Second, the application of automation frees up time for staff to take on projects that drive business success rather than simply maintaining the status quo.
4. CRM systems
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems provide a centralized database for customer information. With access to this data on demand, front-line staff can deliver enhanced customer service — for example, employees can easily pull up consumer purchase histories or product concerns to help increase customer retention. In addition, these systems can be used to build targeted marketing and sales campaigns.
Popular CRM systems include Salesforce, HubSpot, ConnectWise, and Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Technology and Talent — The Dynamic Duo
While technology sets the stage for improved productivity, tools aren’t enough on their own. This is because each of the approaches mentioned above shares a common component: human input.
Communication tools require users to initiate the connection. Analytics apps provide insight, but humans make the decisions. Automation solutions increase efficiency but need humans in the loop to ensure accuracy and security. CRM systems rely on staff to make the best use of collected data.
The result is that improving productivity requires a combination of technology and talent — the right tools at the right time being used by the right people. In some cases, companies may be able to leverage internal expertise to make best use of these solutions. In others, they may be better served by partnering with providers that can help combine people, processes, and technology to achieve long-term growth.
Put simply? Technology paves the way for improved productivity — talent makes the journey possible.
Amelia Suarez is Marketing Manager for Worksighted, a managed IT services provider. She has over seven years of experience in the technology industry with a deep passion for helping businesses leverage technology to achieve their goals and streamline their operations.