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The Alternative Board Blog

What Kinds of Technology are Best for Driving Growth?

Apr. 9, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board

 Advances in technology have significantly leveled the playing field for small and mid-sized businesses. They now have access to much of the same technological resources previously available only to larger companies, and these resources enable them to become more efficient, provide better customer service and enhance efforts to grow the business.

The key is knowing how to leverage advanced technology to solve pressing business challenges. Such challenges might include:

  • Update antiquated business processes
  • Boost brand awareness through an expanded social media presence
  • Promote greater employee project collaboration, including a remote workforce
  • Improve the sales process through automation and other digital resources
  • Generate more efficiency in overall operations

Here are keys areas where a significant new investment in technology might drive growth in your organization:

The cloud

The cloud serves as a worldwide network of servers that enables participants to conduct a full range of business activities online. This has dramatically increased the ability of owners (and their employees) to work in the business from virtually anywhere.

With the cloud, specific serves or applications are hosted remotely on a server, instead of locally on your computer. Users store data on the remote server, meaning they don’t need to be tethered to their desk (or even their office) to use a cloud-based application.

“The benefits of the cloud are immense,” as Small Business Trends notes. Moving your business to the cloud “not only eases the workload but also increases productivity and coordination, facilitates mobility and reduces expenditure,” and, through multiple backup systems, helps “reduce the chances of loss of important data significantly.”

Automation

Automation in business is nothing new, but great strides have been made in the development of automation platforms that systematize repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

An increasingly popular tool in this realm is called robotic process automation (RPA). RPA automation software “performs routine business processes by imitating the way people interact with applications through a user interface and following rules to make decisions,” notes Analytic Insights. Using this software means “an entire end to end process can be performed with a little bit of human interaction.”

Transitioning routine tasks to automation software frees up your team to handle more strategic, customer-focused responsibilities.

Digital marketing

Even now, when digital technology essential rules the marketplace, some businesses are slow to maximize the benefits of this resource. Businesses of virtually every size need to maintain a robust digital presence—through their websites, social media platforms and other areas—in order remain competitive.

The creation and execution of a well-thought-out digital strategy is the all-important first step. Social media marketing, email marketing campaigns and mobile optimization are all effective formats for spreading the word about your business and the benefits your products offer to prospective customers. No channel should be overlooked when devising an overall digital marketing strategy.

Of course, the bottom-line is drawing prospects to your business website. Here’s where up-to-date design and development technology are absolutely crucial. A strong business website must be easy to navigate, visually appealing, informative without overloading the user and offer a seamless customer journey from beginning to end.

It may seem that investing time and money into website design doesn’t appear to offer immediate ROI. But a lackluster, poorly operating website will hurt sales and discourage repeat business. Whether you draw upon the talents of an in-house web designer and developer, or need to outsource this responsibility, it’s really something your business can’t afford to neglect.

Technology advances all the time. Your business doesn’t need to stay up-to-the-minute with these advancements, but no business owner can afford to long ignore the potential benefits new technology can provide, at any step of the way.

Want to learn more about leveraging technology for business growth? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

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Written by The Alternative Board

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