by Sandra Moncada
IT modernization is often viewed as a lower priority than other line items in a business’ budget. If operations and processes are executed without hindrance, why make changes at all?
Due to this, investing in IT infrastructure and software upgrades more often takes a backseat to marketing, product development or expansion into new markets. However, this can be detrimental to your business in numerous ways, and a closer look will reveal why modernization is essential for all businesses.
Why IT Modernization Should be a Priority
Your competition is likely wholeheartedly embracing IT modernization and reaping its benefits. The most prominent incentive to modernize your company’s technology is to remain competitive. Still, there are numerous other benefits that relate to productivity and overall job satisfaction. Remember – having happy employees means having productive employees, and modernization can help you achieve this.
Modernization Improves Responsiveness
Many types of technology that you can incorporate into your business activities help you improve responsiveness. This includes responsiveness to customers, clients, and even coworkers. For example, the availability of mobile technology and cloud computing enables your employees to work remotely as needed. They can take a day off from the office and work from home. There, they will have access to all business-critical systems and will be able to respond to emails, phone calls and collaborate with others in real time.
Modern IT Solutions Detect and Remove Bottlenecks
When there are bottlenecks in work processes or logistical operations you and your team will lose valuable time waiting or become stressed because you have to juggle two, three or more tasks at once. Bottlenecks can decrease productivity while also causing everyone involved to constantly feel as though they will never catch up with their tasks. When you implement modern solutions at targeted critical areas of operations, the pressure and the productivity lags associated with major and minor bottlenecks are easily alleviated. This improves workflow, gives everyone a good overview of progress, and most importantly, eliminates a big chunk of stress.
Embracing Modern Solutions Means Promoting Collaboration
Working on the same document is traditionally a game of sending versions back and forth via email. While this often works well enough when there are two people working on the document, it quickly descends into chaos when there are more. Imagine getting three different versions of the same document and having to go through the changes and comments on each before you can make a final version. It’s time-consuming, stress-inducing and tires out anyone tasked to work on this. Modern software solutions promote a new face of collaboration that helps your team work on the same project in real time without ending up with several versions to check. This has profound effects on the overall daily work experience.
For example, using Office 365 and OneDrive gives your employees the ability to work on the same document in real time. Such cloud technology solutions enable easy access and sharing of files from any location. They will see changes from others and be able to respond to comments and even have an in-document chat to discuss changes. Basically, each document comes with its very own meeting room.
Speaking of meeting rooms, if you haven’t checked out our newest initiative, our new Community of Practice, have a look. We’re bringing together like-minds who want to keep the conversation going about all topics related to management and leadership, in an online ‘meeting room’ of our own on Slack.
Modernization does Wonders for Your Professional Image
You and your team understandably want to be a part of a forward-thinking, progressive and modern company that has a great future. Technology is inevitably a critical component in this area. A company that has embraced IT modernization communicates it is serious about its business and is following latest developments, which aids its professional image. Not only does embracing new IT solutions improve your image with clients and customers, it also improves job satisfaction of your employees because it helps them do their job faster and frees up time to finish business-critical tasks without having to work overtime.
Modern Processes = Simple Processes
Many processes can be simplified and consolidated through IT modernization. For example, cloud-based automation solutions help streamline many of your otherwise mundane daily activities that can bog down efficiency. Online presentation and video conferencing features may eliminate the need to travel frequently. This can improve your quality of life and save time while also saving the company a tremendous amount of money, some of which can be invested into quality team building and professional employee development.
Eliminate Overhead and Invest Where it Really Matters
The incorporation of new technologies in business practices is often viewed as an expensive measure. While you will still have to invest a certain amount to obtain access to new solutions, many applications are available at minimal and some even at no cost to you. For example, having in-house servers mandates that you take care of their security, patching and uptime. If you can’t, you have to subcontract somebody to do it. In addition, your data is only available onsite. Moving to a cloud solution also moves those responsibilities to the provider you choose. This eliminates some pretty hefty costs. As a bonus, you and your employees will be able to access business-critical data and processes from anywhere. While you may argue that you can integrate a cloud solution to your in-house servers, just think how much it would cost as opposed to choosing a cloud solution provider.
The return on investment is often well worthwhile. Moving to the cloud also opens up more flexible work hours, which is high on the priority list of every employee nowadays. When a company can reduce overhead through technological modernization, financial resources can be used to provide employees with better equipment, software solutions, bonuses, and raises.
Improve Data Security
When your IT infrastructure is outdated, your company is at serious risk of data breaches, hacking and other types of security issues. Because cyber criminals are increasingly savvy, you must constantly update your technology to take advantage of the most advanced data security options available. Keep in mind that some cyber crimes directly affect employees. For example, employees’ personal data may be stolen, or employees’ workloads may be increased dramatically when the company enters recovery mode after a data breach. One way to eliminate the rising costs of cybersecurity is to modernize your operations. Instead of the need to update all the software or platforms yourself, you can opt for SaaS or PaaS solutions that get updated automatically to ensure highest safety and uptime. The Right Way to Implement Modern Solutions is Slowly and With Your Team on Board.
Adopting new technologies and using them effectively is essential for running a productive workplace and simplifying work tasks for all employees. Because not all technologies will benefit your business in the same way, it is important to research technologies thoroughly. Understand what aspects of your company or work processes you wish to improve through modernization and test several solutions before you decide on the right solutions to incorporate. It can be stressful and even confusing for employees who are accustomed to completing tasks in a specific way to adjust to change. This holds true even when new processes are more streamlined, easier or beneficial in other ways.
Therefore, it’s crucial to have your team on board with changes and implement the use of new technologies slowly. Give your team a valid reason to WANT new solutions. They should be aware of how these will benefits them, even though they will be out of their comfort zone until they get used to the new way of doing things. Give them time to adjust to each new technology before incorporating another technology into work processes and daily activities. You can see that there should be a gradual and steady effort to modernize your business in various ways. Modernization is an instrumental aspect of running a successful business. It can impact daily work life, productivity and the overall level of job satisfaction. Keep in mind that modernization affects employees, customers, clients and anyone who you encounter regularly. Modernization is essential to stay on top. It should be viewed as the primary goal of every business to improve operations and invest into employee happiness rather than look at it as a superfluous expense.
Photo: Gianluca Primon (Unsplash)