Business Technology in Small Business

Business technology in small businesses can mean a lot of different things and can be interpreted in many different ways. But it will always come down to the same thing – the technology implemented and used by a business must provide the maximum amount of efficiency for the minimum amount of cost and maintenance.

Technology in business must be well planned and implemented in a sensible manner and a plan for technology management must be developed and adhered to. This may mean moving more of your business systems onto the internet to increase the mobility of your business, or identifying and investing in new systems which will do the same job but in a more efficient manner.

How Can the Internet Help My Business?
If you are looking to save money for your business, the internet is an excellent place to start. If your business includes a small call centre to provide customer service, you could save a lot of money in the long run by investing in changing the phone system to an IP telephony system. This would mean that rather than incurring massive phone bills using normal phones, all calls would be routed over the internet and customers would be able to call in using a normal local telephone number.

It is much cheaper to call someone through the internet than through a standard phone line and the savings you would make here would more than cover the cost of implementing such a system.

You would need to ensure that your business’ internet connection is powerful enough to manage this of course. If there is not enough bandwidth to accommodate all of the calls being made, the sound quality can suffer. As long as both parties can hear what the other is saying, this does not have to be too much of an issue – making allowances for this would need to be part of your business’ strategy for technology management.

What about My People in the Field?
If you have a large team of sales reps in the field, the savings which you could enjoy through the implementation of internet based telephony can be carried on to this side of your business as well. Nowadays, there are many mobile phones available which are capable of making calls over the internet using the 3G network. This would mean a possible upgrade of your corporate mobile phone contract and possibly some retraining for your staff – but ultimately it would save you money on phone bills.

How do I Know that My Company is Now More Efficient?
Technology in business also encompasses the assessment and monitoring of work performed by the employees. With modern networking and targeted technology management, it would be possible to not only make your company run more efficiently for less money; but also allowing you to keep an eye on exactly what is going on in real-time.

There are many products available which will allow you to monitor your employees’ statistics – be it the amount of time they are spending on each call or the amount of time they take to finishing each file before they are able to move onto the next one. Through this, you would be able to address any possible issues which may arise and discuss them with the employee.

Business technology should broaden the horizons. You should be able to do more for spending less. Something as simple as making phone calls cheaper or something as involved as identifying areas of concern in an employees performance and having more information which can be used to develop strategies for the employee to avoid this.

Business Technology Consulting Firms And Their Services

Enterprise software applications are rising at staggering rate. More and more companies are looking for agile solutions to streamline their operations to expand their global footprint. Software development and business technology consulting companies are busy in developing and designing enterprise-centric, coherent solutions to improve enterprises’ abilities. Enterprises also seek strong yet flexible applications to stay ahead and carve their own niche in the business stratosphere. Software development and consulting companies focus on a wider spectrum of innovative technologies to create an ideally helpful software solutions or applications that can enhance company’s image and fulfill the clients’ needs.

Highly adroit, experienced application developers and programmers offer their help in business application development, e business solutions, iPhone app development, e-commerce website design, and complete IT consulting services. They extend their unwavering help to fulfill the particular needs of the companies. Their intuitive technology software solutions focus on your pain points and give a suitable and research-based solution. Developers and programmers use specialized tools, resources, frameworks, and platforms to strengthen your business structure.

Some of the most important services offered by technology consulting firms are as follows:

Custom Software Solutions

Experienced developers and programmers analyze the needs of your company and draw a model to propose you a practical system that is specific, coherent, and budget-friendly. Upon your accent, developers and business analysts kick-start the project in a professional way. They use several high-end platforms (e.g. iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc.), to develop the basic framework of the software solution.

Application Development

Software developers and programmers develop suitable business solutions, mobile apps to streamline the decentralized business processes. This enables competitive advantage for your company and allows it to expand its broad scale operations. They develop powerful, robust, flexible, secure, reliable, and fully featured applications that allow business aims. These applications will simplify business complexities and offer end-to-end facilities in an amazing fashion.

The best advantage is that business application development experts develop low-cost yet smart solutions that will bring quality in the executions. Software consulting firms also give custom-fit managed IT services to better cater the needs of the growing businesses. Businesses also need an IT consulting firm to discuss their growing challenges, concerns and develop a perfectly versatile, innovative, aligned, and creative solution that will improve collaboration, automation process, business operations, and overall workflow. The promising solutions not only improve capabilities, but also remove bottlenecks.

Today, software and IT consulting firms also recommend holistic & advanced enterprise applications and software solutions over traditional, because advanced solutions are measurable and allow companies to make critical business decisions quickly by using real-time information. No doubt, business applications offer truly competitive advantage to the businesses.

Managing Small Business Technology

Technology Levels the Playing Field

One advantage small business has gained over the years is the ready availability of sophisticated technology that was once the exclusive asset of the largest corporations. But with this benefit comes the additional responsibility of proficient management of that technology.

Customers Demand Better Service

Today’s customer has come to expect the greater convenience and efficiency the Internet Age, with online connectivity to company accounts, or at least computerized records, information databases, and customer management systems.

A Technology Breakdown Can Be a Public Relations Nightmare

Managing your technology may not be at the top of your list of important business activities, but perhaps it should be, because how your computers, database, network, phones, etc. are running can make the difference between being seen by your customers as competent and caring about their needs, or inefficient and unconcerned.

Asset Management Can Be a Daunting Task

Your technology must be chosen and sized to the required tasks and your staff must be proficient in its operation, but there is much more to keep track of. Your technology must be periodically upgraded. It is vital that software be updated for security and fixes. Hardware and software depreciate and must be either upgraded or replaced. When facing budget constraints, decisions must be made whether to continue using current equipment and software, or to replace it. For example, perhaps a three-year depreciation cycle could be extended to five years, but circumstances might dictate replacement, such as the inability of older equipment to support the software needed to remain competitive.

Threats Cannot Be Ignored

Damage from computer viruses, unreliable power sources, improper usage of software, etc. is a problem small business managers didn’t have to deal with in the past. Proper rules need to be set up, taught to your employees, and enforced. Commercial grade surge protectors, UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies), or even backup electrical generation may be necessary for the protection of your equipment, and proper technology training of your employees is always important.

Technology Glitches Must Be Handled Properly

No matter how good your hardware, software, and employee training, technology breakdowns do occur. Properly handling them is a matter of communication. For example, if a customer experiences difficulty accessing their account, they may keep trying over and over. This uses valuable bandwidth and CPU time. Multiply this by many customers trying to access your system, and your network, as well as your technicians, could be tied up with customer requests instead of working to solve the problem. The solution is to tell your customers you are aware of the problem, apologize for the inconvenience, and let them know you are working on it.

Outsourcing As a Solution

Many businesses solve their technology management problems by contracting with an outside technology management service. It is important that you chose one which is competent, flexible in its prices and levels of service, and has a reputation for effective communication with its clients.

Managing your business technology is as important for your business as sales, employment, and other aspects of your business. Properly managed, technology can give you an edge over your competitors and bring you up to the level of the large corporations.