The rapid evolution of technology – from mobile devices to business apps and digital marketing – has moved beyond internal process improvements to a source for innovation and new business opportunities.
But some small businesses owners can feel overwhelmed by the technological advances that seem to be moving at the speed of light.
Many businesses could never have gotten off the ground, or experienced exponential growth, without the innovations, speed, and mobility of the digital era. Other businesses, like newspapers and magazines, are finding technology so disruptive to their business model they’re struggling to stay alive.
“Technology is moving faster than companies can keep up with,” said a panelist at the recent Maximizing Mobile Customer Engagement and Workforce Productivity workshop in Jacksonville, Fl.
To stay competitive, how much time and money should you devote to new software, devices and the experts to implement these new systems? One workshop panelist in the healthcare industry said customer expectations are so high he may have to hire a full-time mobility officer.
“It’s moving at a breakneck pace,” said, Bernie Rice, CIO of Nemours Children’s Specialty Care.
For many businesses, the biggest challenge with the plethora of digital solutions is competing initiatives. What are the best options for your business? Which vendors can you trust? Will the app integrate with the rest of the company’s technology? What about security? Most importantly, how will it improve the bottom line?
Here are some tips suggested by the workshop panelists:
- Understand your employees’ needs and match the technology to meet that need.
- Research the options and their implications to ensure the devices or software will integrate with your infrastructure.
- Make sure you’re taking full advantage of the software you already have. You may be unaware that it has the features you’re seeking.
- Many employees are bringing their own device to work. Make sure you have a policy to handle those opportunities and risks.
- When it comes to security, mobile is the weakest link in the chain. Don’t store company information or photographs on cell phones.
- Companies can benefit from sharing best practices on digital security with other companies.
This post is by Caren Burmeister. Caren is a retired newspaper reporter turned freelance writer who enjoys yoga and caring for her two fat cats.