We’re only a month into 2013 and if you’ve yet to make a resolution for your small business, consider assessing your technology. Evaluating how technology investments are serving your business requires a fair amount of thought and energy, but the pay-off is worth it since the process sheds light on exactly which changes must be made to increase business success.
When assessing your technology to determine how well it supports your business objectives, try structuring the process by analyzing the following three technology priorities:
Productivity and collaboration – Technology should help employees get things done, share information and work well as a team. Ask employees if they notice any patterns of inefficiency in workflow and their daily work tasks. Doing a thorough audit, will help you identify duplicate processes or tasks. Consider whether the programs they use integrate well with respect to internal and external communications. Also, observe how employees communicate with one another, which tools they use most frequently and if they spend unnecessary time determining if their colleagues are available. You may come to find that enhanced productivity solutions that work across various devices like tablets, PCs and smartphones will help your employees work better and smarter.
Mobility – When it comes to mobility, businesses that enable employees to remain productive anytime, anywhere have a better chance at success than their landlocked counterparts. Of course if you run a bakery or a hair salon, certain elements of your business activity must take place on-site, but many other functions such as accounting and marketing can take place anywhere. Therefore, consider how easily your employees can conduct work outside the office. Do you have the right technology with the proper plans and policies in place to facilitate smarter, more secure, remote working for employees?
Security – Security threats constantly change, making securing your business on ongoing process. Some measures for protection never change, such as anti-virus software and malware removal, so be sure to determine if your business has these tools in place.
The suggestions I’ve posed are a starting-off point for you as you enter the process of assessing your business’ technology. To help you through the process, we’ve developed a great new resource – the Microsoft Assess Your Tech guide. I think you’ll find this resource particularly helpful in the process of assessing your technology and identifying ways to improve the role technology plays in moving your business forward.
For more tips and information on how technology can support you and your business, follow Cindy Bates on Twitter (http://twitter.com/Cindy_Bates) or follow Microsoft SMB on Twitter (@MicrosoftSMB) and Facebook (Microsoft SMB).