Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The importance of technology in a changing world

These days, companies are more than ever rely on technology to help improve communications and to maximize efficiency in the workplace. The increased use of internet technology, email and mobile phone has revolutionized the way businesses operate and has made a critical factor in building and maintaining a successful company. Yet many companies still think of technology as a necessary evil, rather than truly embracing all the opportunities that can lead to make your organization more efficient.

In the past, companies may have been able to get away with pretending to IT, but in the modern fast changing world this is no longer possible. Now, with the convergence of voice and data, and much greater dependence on mobile communications, it is essential for all companies to urgently develop a coordinated IT strategy.

Of course, historically, companies tend to consider telecommunications and data networking as separate budgets, but due to the convergence of networks and opportunities that can provide VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), is no longer possible to look at them in isolation. In fact, given the increasing importance of distance work and the need to ensure that all staff working in the most effective way possible, these days companies really have no choice. The simple truth is that if you do not embrace change now, your competitors.

Changes in the structure of work we have seen in the last 10 years are just the beginning of what will happen in the next decade. At each level, the communication faster and more accessible will be the key. It is anticipated that only in a few years about 75% of all telephone calls will be carried over an IP network. The converged network is here to stay and the only real choice is not whether, but when you are going to embrace it. With globalization, the increasing use of home workers and the work environment more flexible access to information should be seamless and immediate.

While the concept of office "paperless" can not be a reality in the true sense, the need for systems of electronic documents (EDM) that can allow staff to access a wide range of documents from anywhere in the world will only increase in the future. In an increasingly competitive world, customers will be attracted to companies that make communication with them (including buying and selling), as simple as possible. Good technology used properly reflect well on your business and can help motivate your staff by taking some of the drudgery out of their day to day activities.

More and more websites that used to be used as a simple "window" will be now integrated with other back office systems. In the aviation sector not only allows you to book your flight on-line, but also select seats, order your meal and even "check-in". In less than 5 years, and airline tickets have become redundant administrative processes have been radically simplified to maximize efficiency.

This integration of the Internet with other business processes only become more important than the increase in the use of the web. Customers want to have full visibility of every part of their interaction with your company. Once again, an easy access to information and knowledge sharing will be key.

Of course with the law and the need for greater respect Business Continuity Planning, technology can also provide a back crucial in the case of an unexpected disaster. With the proper storage of electronic data and the rerouting of voice and data over the Internet, many companies can in fact be lifted and taken to another location with minimal disruption. In recent flooding in 2007, Disaster Recovery is not only become an intellectual exercise, but a sad reality for hundreds of local businesses.

The technology must be embraced by all decision-makers in a society and their views properly coordinated to enjoy all the benefits it can offer. Not designed merely as a cost, but more like a real opportunity to improve efficiency in your business. Currently, many companies are still too reactive and fail to think strategically enough about how the world is changing and how their business is changing with it. We are now ten years into the 21st century and the rate of change is only going to increase not slow down.

Maybe now you can see why getting a Strategic IT Roadmap for your business is not a "nice to have", but in the modern day and age is simply a necessity. I suggest you review the existing IT support for your business and maybe consider outsourcing as an exercise in cost reduction. There are many companies out there that offers a full complement of managed services that could improve your business efficiency enormously. These days, the systems can be monitored 24x7, 365 days a year, with a much more proactive approach to IT management.