Organizations have always relied on technology for their efficiency and productivity, but today, software is literally taking over many workplaces. Businesses often have more software than they know how to manage, and new solutions are constantly emerging that solve problems they didn’t even know they had.
Business leaders are often unaware of the operational issues affecting their teams’ productivity — many of which stem from accumulating inefficiencies in their organization’s business technology. And these multiplying efficiencies come at a high price: For a start, unused software is costing businesses $40 billion in overspend every year.
Top-level management needs guidance to remedy these issues for their teams and the overall technology health of their organizations. In this article, we outline the ways inefficient technology could be eroding your organization’s productivity, discuss the implications for remote work, and suggest five ways you can start improving your workplace efficiency immediately.
How inefficient IT is reducing your productivity
Your organization’s technology could be lowering productivity rather than raising it, either because the technology itself is outdated or because you are spending money on new technology without planning the investment properly.
Operating and maintaining outdated legacy systems, either in the form of on-premises servers or monolithic software, is expensive. This is because older systems are more burdensome to support due to factors such as longer, heavier code and incompatibility with newer systems. Legacy systems also tend to be more vulnerable to security breaches.
Even if you are investing in new technology, you may not be doing so cost-effectively. Organizations of all sizes are investing in IT, but many are not spending their money well. Although they may be pursuing digital transformation as a way to use technology to improve the enterprise’s performance or reach, much of the investment goes to waste.
For example, research shows that 70% of digital transformation programs don’t meet the organization’s targets. The reasons for this include poor employee engagement, lack of management support, inadequate cross-functional collaboration, and an absence of accountability. It is true that optimizing your investment in digital solutions demands a transformation of mindsets and behaviors — and this can be a daunting prospect for many leaders.
How is remote work affecting the situation?
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new challenges for businesses unaccustomed to supporting a remote workforce, particularly for cultures where the emphasis was not on digital. However, remote work gives employers an opportunity to equip employees with the right tools to optimize their daily processes, leading to increased employee engagement, innovation, and satisfaction. Businesses that deploy the right tools, implement the right processes, and integrate inclusivity can become dynamic organizations that are attractive places to work.
Fortunately, you don’t have to overhaul your IT overnight. Here are some tips for incrementally improving your organization’s efficiency and productivity through prudent investment in IT:
5 Ways to optimize your IT spending — starting now
Ensuring you are spending wisely on IT solutions is not a question of throwing out your systems and starting from scratch. You can start the process incrementally by adopting:
- Cloud technology
- Enhanced team collaboration software
- Better backup and disaster recovery initiatives
- A review of your network and user security
- Managed IT services
Let’s look at each in detail.
1. Adoption of cloud technology
Adopting cloud technology means you no longer have to invest in data management infrastructure. The cost of servers, computers, and other physical IT assets plummets, and you also save on office overheads by enabling employees to work remotely. Faster decision-making via cloud-based systems increases operational efficiency and productivity, and today’s cloud networks are far more secure than their predecessors.
2. Better collaboration software
Embrace team collaboration tools to boost productivity and efficiency. They enable everything from communication to project management. Colleagues will be able to edit files together in real time and enjoy secure access to business data from any location and device.
3. Improved backup and disaster recovery (BDR) measures
You cannot afford a data breach. Data must be constantly backed up and quickly recoverable so downtime is minimal should the worst happen. Invest in reliable, cloud-based BDR for secure, fast, monitored, and continuous backup and speedy data restoration.
4. Review of network and user security
To protect your organization against cybercrime, you need at the very least robust antivirus software and a network firewall. This will manage your internet traffic and data, and should feature gateway antivirus, intrusion protection (IPS), phishing protection, and application control.
5. Leverage Managed IT services
Maximizing IT performance while minimizing costs is a balancing act that requires specialist skills. Managing your own evolving IT infrastructure can be costly and time-consuming, especially during digital transformations like embracing the cloud. Partnering with a managed services provider is one solution that can help you quickly access these efficiencies while optimizing your IT budget.
To find out more about best practices in business technology, click below to watch our recent webinar:
Leverage IT can assess your systems, recommend solutions unique to your needs, and implement best practices to drive inefficiencies from your business. Get in touch with us today!