There are pros and cons to modern technology, and it’s in the interest of all businesses to make sure they have the most appropriate solutions and utilize them in positive and productive ways.
So, how do you determine if your technology is helping or hindering your business, and how do you ensure technology works to your advantage? In this article, we’ll look at some of the ways technology is solving problems — and creating them. And we’ll show you how to make sure your business is benefiting from your technology solutions.
Part 1: Advantages of technology in business
Communication and collaboration
One of the biggest advantages of technology is the way it improves communication and collaboration. Online communication has expanded the global marketplace and made it possible to do business across time zones, borders, and languages.
With email, text messages, video conferencing, and other collaboration tools, it’s easier than ever before to interact with coworkers, clients, and other businesses. There are tools that help teams work better together, enabling interaction, chats, file sharing, real time collaboration, onboarding, and more.
Learn more about the collaboration tools Zoom, Slack, and Teams to determine which is the best for your business.
Remote work opportunities
The communication advantages of platforms like Zoom and Teams have granted businesses the ability to work from anywhere. Collaborators no longer need to be in the same room to work on the same project in real time.
Being able to communicate and collaborate from anywhere also reduces time off, since employees are able to work from home during bad weather or when they need to care for their children or elderly parents. And of course, this technology has made surviving the pandemic possible for organizations all over the world, as they were able to replace their in-person offices, classrooms, and storefronts with virtual solutions.
Increased data storage
Technology has enabled infinite amounts of data to be stored and managed. Platforms like Microsoft OneDrive are extremely effective at managing data, especially when compared to traditional forms of digital storage, such as on-premises servers or physical drives.
The ability to store data in the cloud saves space in offices and allows you to access files from anywhere, which means you don’t need to be physically at the office to be productive. Plus, finding a file only takes a few clicks and a matter of seconds; all you need to do is type the title of your file in the search bar.
Data visualization and analysis
Tools like Visio in Microsoft 365 enable you to visualize your business performance through the use of diagrams, flowcharts, and pictorial workflow templates. This kind of technology allows you to take a deep look at your processes and outcomes, track your progress, identify inefficiencies, and implement improvements.
Automation and streamlining
Technology allows for automation and efficiency. It streamlines business processes by allowing your tools to communicate with each other. By performing manual tasks like propagating data or duplicating workflows, automation improves productivity and reduces the time lost to repetitive processes.
For example, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools have revolutionized customer care, creating a trackable and adaptable process for managing customer outcomes and using their feedback to constantly improve.
Learn more about how to use technology to improve your company’s processes and efficiency.
Part 2: Disadvantages of technology
Now, let’s take a look at some of the ways businesses can be impeded by tech tools and processes, and how to prevent this.
Reliance on technology
Due to the many advantages technology brings, people and businesses can become overly reliant on it. Technology can simplify complex problems and raise productivity, but if we’re used to relying on it every day, it can be devastating when we lose access.
Consider how disastrous it would be for your productivity to lose your internet connection for even an hour, let alone a whole day. What happens when the systems you rely on are down? It’s imperative that you make use of technology but not be completely dependent on it. Put systems in place to ensure your team can solve problems even if you encounter a technical issue.
Unfortunately, there can be serious risks to using technology to run your business. Individuals and organizations are vulnerable to cyberattacks, including hacking and data breaches. A cyberattack could result in fraud, financial theft, data loss, or the loss of compliance and the associated liabilities.
If your business suffers a cyberattack, it could damage your reputation and negatively affect your ability to acquire future business. Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to prevent cyberattacks and manage one should it occur.
Watch our webinar on how you can protect your business from cybersecurity risks.
Risk of data loss
It’s not only cyberattacks that can result in data loss — a natural disaster or technical issue could do the same. The best way to effectively prevent data loss is to back up everything to the cloud as frequently as you can (every few minutes!). This redundancy means your intellectual property is always recoverable should your network suffer a technical issue or data breach, and it means your business operations won’t be stalled.
Mitigate the risk of data loss with a detailed backup and recovery plan.
Lack of technology training
Increased technology requires increased training. In order to keep your team up to date on the most recent tools and technological advancements, regular education is essential. You need to invest in your team to ensure they understand how to use the tools you are implementing.
Training will help your team use hardware and software efficiently, and it will help ensure each employee understands the safety procedures needed to maintain security. You’re only as secure as your weakest link, so it’s critical that all employees, new and old, understand backup and recovery procedures and cybersecurity risks.
Technologies are constantly competing for attention, which can make it difficult to concentrate no matter where you work. Even if your employees focus solely on work tasks, email and chat notifications can completely diminish their concentration.
It can take minutes to get back on track after being interrupted. This derails focus and makes it difficult to maintain productivity inside and outside of the office. You can combat distractions by training employees (and yourself) on how to manage notifications, screen time, and mindless internet browsing.
Part 3: Determine if your technology is helping or hurting your business
The first step is to actively assess your current technology. Just because you’ve always used some application or system doesn’t mean it’s helping you. It’s possible you’ve grown accustomed to something that is far less efficient than it could be. You may be using technology in a way that hinders productivity, or you may have outdated systems that simply need updating to better benefit your business.
- How can your technology improve communication and collaboration?
- How can your technology increase productivity?
- Is your company’s data secure?
- Are you protected from cyberattacks?
- Are you using the right tools for your business?
How to find the RIGHT technology for your business
You need to make sure the technology you choose is working for you — and not the other way around.
In this article, we’ve covered the basics to get you thinking about the pros and cons of modern technology and how they impact your business.