The growing reliance upon technology in business is clear. IT is not only a tool for everyday tasks, but a crucial part of growing business capacity and capability. With the rapid emergence of new technologies, numerous IT trends have been identified. We have picked out our top 3 that are not only factors in improving performance, but could also be the difference between business survival and extinction. These trends are far from fleeting, and are unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
1. Putting IT in the top office
The days of leaving IT tucked away in the basement or corner are gone; the importance of technology to modern operations mean that the IT must be a living and breathing asset alongside sales, marketing, finance and the rest. IT departments are more and more frequently involved with conversations around how to enhance efficiency and innovation, or how to work better; not just ‘can you fix this computer’. Ensuring that the IT department is fully integrated and ‘talking the same language’ as the rest of the organisation will not only provide incremental efficiency gains in the short term, but enable businesses to respond quicker to rapidly changing demands, in the medium and long term.
2. Optimising information
As part of a world engulfed in online communication and digital media, business are submerged by data about their processes, customers and marketplace. While a data minefield clearly creates some challenges around managing and leveraging information, the opportunity to analyse this data to make more informed business decisions is vast. Beyond understanding customer behaviours, businesses can harness the insight of predictive analytics to anticipate future demand, providing any resourcing or fulfilment needs with real support. We see this as a key trend because even if you don’t make the most of your data, you can be sure your competitors will.
As we enter a new era of tailored marketing and increasingly accurate forecasting and reporting, continuing to operate with primitive systems and not leveraging data will leave you guessing your next move.
3. Getting with the times, and getting mobile
With the advent of mobile devices and cloud hosted technologies, employees’ ability to work from remote locations is greater than ever. Employers can arm remote workers with the same tools as in the office, with integrated unified communication solutions bridging any communication gaps.
The need for a mobile workforce is two-fold; time need not be lost travelling or between meetings, with employees providing value across the working day by accessing business infrastructures via the cloud. Furthermore, business are now required to offer mobile working options now only for their productivity, but for legal reasons. With legislations such as statuary flexible working and shared maternity/paternity leave, businesses must make mobile working the norm to fit in amongst employees other commitments.
The business world is changing fast. Failure to keep up will leave you sanding still while your competitors pass you by.