We live in an age of unparalleled opportunities, with society more connected than ever before. The world’s population is at 7.7 billion people and growing, and there are now over three billion mobile devices worldwide.
Closer to home, 9 out of 10 Australians now own a smart phone – a staggering 18 million smartphones – and 94% of Australians don’t leave home without their phone (and the other 6% probably just forgot to take it with them!).
However, this incredible connectivity also presents significant business challenges. So how can you leverage off this technology to ‘future proof’ your business?
We examine some key trends that can help reduce costs, streamline process and provide increased flexibility, and provide you with some critical tips on how to best implement your future solutions.
Three Technology Trends that can help Future Proof Your Business
1. Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is now a well-established and common business technology, so chances are you are using some form of cloud computing in your business and personal life.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and intelligence – over the Internet (‘the cloud’). It is a flexible, scalable resource that is subscription based and is accessed through your web browser.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
- Cost – it delivers lower operating costs as you only pay for the cloud services you use
- Flexibility – allows you to scale as your business needs change
- Speed – most cloud computing services are provided as ‘on demand’, so even huge amounts of computing resources can be provided in minutes, taking the pressure off capacity planning.
- Performance – large cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centres, which deliver the most advanced and efficient hardware. Essentially you get the benefit of the latest and greatest technology without having to invest heavily!
- Reliability – Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network.
- Security – all reputable cloud providers offer high levels of security, which helps protect your data, infrastructure and applications from potential threats.
Examples of Cloud Computing Services
- Browser-based email services – Gmail, Hotmail etc.
- Microsoft Office 365
- G Suite (Google’s business email service)
- CRM systems such as Salesforce and Zoho
- Accounting software including Xero, MYOB and Reckon.
- ERP solutions like Netsuite and SAP
What is Mobile Computing?
Mobile computing, or mobility, is a technology that allows transmission of data, voice and video via a computer or any other wireless enabled device without having to be connected to a fixed physical link. Put simply, mobile computing is computing on the go – being able to do things out of the office easily that previously you could only do in the office or do remotely with difficulty.
Benefits of Mobile Computing
- Flexibility – the greatest and most obvious benefit is that mobile computing technology allows users to work from any location, as long as a connection can be established.
- Productivity – users can work efficiently from wherever they are working, not just in the office. This could mean on the commute, at home, in meetings, or while travelling. This has obvious benefits for staff who travel for their role, field staff or those who have a long commute.
- Time Saving – no longer do you need to waste time travelling from different locations or to the office and back to access systems. Important files and documents can be securely accessed from home or on the go, enhancing telecommuting, and reducing travel expenses. Meetings, seminars, training etc., can now be undertaken through video and voice conferencing
- Efficiency – business processes can be streamlined through secure connections, and the secure sharing of information can be undertaken between teams, and external clients, partners, agencies and providers.
Examples of Mobile Computing Devices
Mobile computing devices encompass a wide range of consumer electronics, and include:
- Smart Phones
- Tablet PCs
- Wearable devices
Mobile devices can take advantage of Wi-Fi by connecting to a wireless local area network (WLAN), via mobile phone services, or be connected to a local area network (LAN). Manual time-consuming processes are now performed via mobile applications. Electricians, plumbers and other trades can take payments on-the-go and automatically email a receipt immediately after payment is received.
3. Unified Communications
What is Unified Communications?
Unified Communications (UC) refers to a single platform that provides multiple ways of connecting and staying connected. In short, unified communications is a set of technologies that helps you communicate anywhere, anytime, work more efficiently and potentially even change how you work to streamline existing processes.
A Unified Communications platform is comprised of:
- Voice and telephony, with fixed, mobile and softphone support
- Meeting solutions – audio, video, and web-conferencing
- Messaging – email with voice and unified messaging
- Presence and instant messaging
- Clients – desktop and browser
- Communication enabled applications
Read more How To Effectively Implement New Technology in Your Business or contact Surety IT today for expert IT advice on the latest technologies that can Future Proof Your Business to help reduce costs, streamline process and provide increased flexibility.