Using Technology Helps To Level The Playing Field
Over the years small businesses have gained the advantage of the increased availability of technology that was at one time only available to the largest companies with the bigger budgets. But with the benefit of having this technology there is also the additional responsibility of keeping control and managing the technology.
Todays Customers Demand A Better Service
Customers today have come to expect businesses to be more efficient and quicker to deal with issues as I would think every company now has at least computerised stock records, information databases, and customer management systems.
When Technology Breaks It Can Become A PR Nightmare
For most companies managing their technology is not usually at the top of their list of important tasks, but really, it definitely should be. The way your technology works will reflect on how your customers see you, are you a competent and well organised company who they want to do business with, or are you incompetent and seem like a bit of a fly by night or a scam artist.
Managing Your Assets Can Be Daunting
The technology you have must be correctly suited for the tasks it needs to perform and your staff must be proficient in its use. All of your technology must be kept uptodate and even periodically upgraded. Software especially must be regularly updated to ensure all security loop holes are closed and all bug fixes have been done. As technology improves then you need to factor in software and hardware deprecation determining whent it must be either upgraded or replaced. If you are facing budget constraints, then you must decide whether it is safe a cost effective to continue using the equipment and software you currently own, or whether it might be more beneficial to replace it. For some items you might be looking at a 5 year depreciation cycle, but if the older equipment is unable to run the software to keep you competitive then an early upgrade might be required.
Hackers And Viruses Cannot Be Ignored
In the past threats such as hackers, computer viruses, power outages etc. were problems that small business owners didn’t have to deal with. Now it is a must. Each company must have a correct protocols, the rules and regulations that your employees need to be taught, and enforced to use. You might need to purchase a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), a commercial grade surge protector, or even a backup electric generator to protect your equipment. Correct and up to date training for your staff is also important for you to get the most out of your technology.
Technology Breakdowns Must Be Handled Correctly
No matter how good, or new your software, hardware, or employee training is, your technology can still breakdowns. As with any issue handling them is simply a matter of communication. For example, if you have an issue on your website and customers are having difficulty trying to access their account, It is much better to inform your customers that you are aware that there is a problem and you are working to fix it. This keeps your customers informed and stops them from constantly contacting your support department, tying up your technicians who could be getting on with fixing the problem.
Technology Management Outsourcing A Possible Solution
Many small businesses will solve their technology management problems by utilising an outside technology management service. Obviously before you choose a company to outsource to you need to do your due diligence and ensure that they are competent, have flexible prices and varying levels of service, they have a good reputation from other clients.
Managing the technology in your business is just as important for your business as any other aspects of your business. If it is properly managed then it can give you a bit of an edge over your competitors, helping to take your business to the next level.