À LA CARTE TECHNOLOGY
- Technologies have long covered almost all aspects of our lives and business is no exception. On the contrary, any significant progress in business is connected with the arrival and adaptation of a new technology. Suffice to recall the famous legend of Henry Ford and the conveyor assembly line or to look at the richest man on the planet, Jeff Bezos, who found a way to sell books through the Internet. It becomes immediately clear that the use of the latest technologies has a profound effect on business development. However, many owners of small and medium-sized businesses think that all of these new tools and devices are applicable only to large companies, and they either are not required or are simply inaccessible because of their prices, functionality or complexity. Many entrepreneurs simply do not have time to gain a thorough understanding of the meaning of abbreviations like CRM, ERP, VoIP, etc. Unfortunately, this problem is especially acute in Cyprus. For the sake of clarity, it is worth noting that, lately, there has been a lot of talk about this and even an attempt to find and apply new solutions and approaches, but finding those optimal conditions is still very difficult, indeed.So, why is the application of modern technologies important, even for the smallest business, and which tools can bring your company to a new level?
It is difficult to single out a clear leader because, usually, it is a bunch of different technologies and much depends on the industry, but there are a few simple and affordable solutions that are relevant for most companies.
Firstly, these are key means of communication because the process of information exchange within a team plays a significant role in its operability. For this issue, several solutions thankfully come to the rescue. For example, the corporate instant messenger Slack is available within the browser and, as an application, works in smartphones or computers. Inside this messenger, you can easily and conveniently exchange messages and any types of files with your colleagues. Especially convenient is that you can conduct a conversation with either a particular employee or within the channel, which can be closed (for example, for a separate department) or open to the entire team. Slack is available as a free version for those who want to test its functionality and it does not limit the test period in time.
A more formal way of communication is e-mail. Unfortunately, there are still cases when corporate correspondences are conducted from free email addresses (such as @ gmail.com, @ hotmail.com, @ cytanet.com.cy, etc). It looks unprofessional and, moreover, carries the risks of hacking or stealing information. There are many services that provide corporate mail services, but the absolute leader in this area is the Google G Suit product. Subscription to one mailbox is €4 per month and this gives you the opportunity to use not only mail, but also to manage your corporate calendar, use Google Drive cloud storage, collaboratively work on documents in Google Docs and several other useful functions.
An important factor in all of this is the hardware – the equipment on which the work takes place. Often, business owners prefer to save on this, which affects the productivity of employees. The truth is that simply replacing a hard drive with a modern SSD drive can save dozens of hours of work per year. With this approach, that €150 spent installing a SSD drive no longer seems an unreasonable waste of money, but, on the contrary, a way of saving money.
From hardware, we turn to software. Installing unlicensed software is such a common practice that it would surprise many. “Why should I pay 100+ Euros for Microsoft Office if I can download a pirated version?” – This is just another mistaken error. It is important to understand that stories about hacker altruists who break into programmes so that everyone can use them freely is more of a plot for films than reality. Of course, there are such hackers, but they are unlikely to waste their time “cracking” Photoshop. Rather, they will take control of something more serious, as those who break into such programmes often do it with a view to their earnings. Hackers often pre-set a certain code into the programming, with which they will later be able to use the resources of your computer, or they may be new programmers who train on such programmes and, accordingly, make mistakes that ‘break’ the programme. In any case, the installation of pirated software, with a greater probability of being hacked, will negatively affect the efficiency and quality of your work.
These were just a few of the most common ways in which modern technology can help create more comfortable working conditions for both business owners and employees.
Replacing the hard drive with a modern SSD drive, professional communication tools, licensed software, data warehouses, fast and secure internet access – all this significantly optimises work processes and, as a result, definitely will bring positive results because (it is so true) time = money.