Technology Investments Your Business Should Consider
Investing in technology can pay off significantly for businesses. It can make a big difference whether you’re a small or medium-size business (SMB) seeking a foothold in a highly competitive industry or an established enterprise looking to expand into new markets.
The biggest challenge, however, is choosing from the large range of new technologies. Confusion around the right technology increases the risk of paying huge amounts for inconsequential or outright harmful “solutions.”
Below is our list of the most important technology investments to prioritize to make the most of your budget.
1. A website
A website is the single most important business tool in the modern world. It gives your business a 24/7 presence so customers can find you and your products at any time. It also gives you omnipresence – a global reach to your target audience. By incorporating an eCommerce store, your audience can also access and purchase your products and services whenever they wish. Above all, a business website is where all your digital marketing campaigns converge, and it promotes your brand.
2. Mobile technology
Mobile devices are at the heart of digital business transactions. Whether it’s a customer paying for goods at the local store, or a business owner calling suppliers to place an order, mobile devices are key. In fact, 65% of online shoppers use mobile devices to compare products and pricing before purchasing. Therefore, savvy businesses need a robust mobile marketing strategy and a mobile-optimized website.
3. Business transformation/automation
Business process automation, also known as business transformation, means replacing human labor with machines for repetitive tasks. The primary objective is to free up employees for higher-value work. Additionally, automation reduces operating costs and eliminates human error while increasing productivity and process efficiency.
4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help businesses manage customer relationships and communication for maximum customer value. They ensure truthful reporting, improve messaging, encourage proactiveness, and boost collaboration. The best CRM tools for SMBs include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Constant Contact.
5. Productivity tools
Business productivity tools are intuitive tools that help you get more work done in less time. They include proofreading tools, such as ProofHub, collaboration tools, calendars, and scheduling tools such as Slack, and accounting tools, such as QuickBooks. Zoom is another valuable productivity tool to add to your list, especially for remote employees.
6. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools are software solutions businesses use to manage multiple core business functions. They bring together several productivity tools, to eliminate the confusion that using multiple platforms each day creates. The most popular ERP tools are SYSPRO, NetSuite, Sage Group, And Odoo.
7. Cloud computing
A key concern for digital-first SMBs is where to store the data they collect safely. On-site storage is often the first solution, however, this can come with many risks. Moreover, on-site storage can become very expensive as your business grows. Businesses should consider investing in secure cloud storage. This gives you access to unlimited storage space at a fraction of the cost.
8. Business intelligence (BI)
Business intelligence is a collective term for software solutions used to extract insight from raw data. This includes analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning tools that break down data and organize it to gain meaningful value. The best BI tools are Tableau, Sisense, and Microsoft Corporation. However, Google Analytics is also very handy and completely free.
9. Tech security
Finally, it’s pointless pouring millions into the above business areas without protecting your investment. Your business is likely to be exposed to malware attacks, ransomware attacks, social engineering attacks, etc., which can bring you down in one strike. Therefore, you should invest in software patches, antivirus software, user authentication tools, and other security solutions to keep your business safe.
Businesses can no longer ignore technology and digital advancements. Most importantly, businesses cannot afford to get technology investments wrong. Choosing to focus on the wrong technology solution is very expensive, as your business will not see a return. Fortunately, you now know where to begin as you embrace technology investments to help your business grow.