Technology has evolved so much over the last 10 years and it’s only going to continue to improve. With how quickly everything has updated, it’s very possible that your company has an outdated tech footprint. You may not notice it only because you’re so used to it, but it’s a serious drag on your growth potential, your productivity, and your profitability.
It’s time to do something about it. Make these seven overdue investments in your corporate tech your first orders of business.
1. Enterprise-Grade Smart WiFi
Business-speed WiFi is a commodity these days. Everyone uses it, from the solo professional working out of a home office to Fortune 1000 companies with business locations in multiple countries.
It’s no longer enough. To give your business a real advantage over the competition, you need WiFi that doubles as a fully connected business intelligence platform.
Look for small business WiFi solutions that offer adaptive internet connectivity and enterprise-grade security — these features are non-negotiable. The ideal smart WiFi solution goes farther, combining guest and workforce management tools with on-premise security and targeted marketing capabilities.
2. Cloud-Based Phone Service
If your business still relies on a legacy landline service, you’re going to need to cut the cord soon. Better do it now and switch to a cloud-based VoIP phone system — a much more cost-effective, future-proof solution.
Because it bundles with your business internet, cloud-based phone service is simpler from an accounting perspective as well. This is your chance to remove dead weight from your accounts payable and end a relationship that adds no value.
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3. A Flexible, Scalable Teleconferencing Solution
Is your team back in the office or still working remotely? Either way, it needs a reliable, scalable way to connect people who can’t be in the same room at the same time. But audio-only conferencing is chaotic, and one-on-one chats are inefficient.
That’s where a flexible, scalable teleconferencing solution like Microsoft Teams comes in. It’s more than a video chatting tool, of course, but this capability alone draws many business users in. Teams and solutions like it make it easy for collaborators in different cities — even different time zones — to come together and get work done.
4. Powerful Project Management Tools
Your organization needs a scalable project management solution, too.
Like your videoconferencing solution, this suite needs to grow with your company. The only thing worse than living without a capable project management solution is trying to find a new one fast because you’ve outgrown your current plan.
“Project management” means different things to different businesses, and there’s no shortage of reliable options for business users. Lots of these options seem interchangeable at first; most all solutions have some basic, easy-to-deliver capabilities in common.
Look closer and differences become apparent. So, when choosing your provider and plan, consider your most urgent, mission-critical needs and select accordingly.
5. A Real-Time (And Asynchronous) Workplace Chat Solution
Many project management tools have built-in communication features. Unfortunately, these tend not to operate well at scale. There’s a big difference between chats involving two collaborators and chats involving 20 collaborators. Project management tools aren’t always effective for real-time communication either.
The good news is that high-quality workplace chat solutions abound. They might be purpose-built (Slack) or housed within larger collaborations suites (Microsoft Teams). If you’re still relying on some combination of email and in-app or in-doc chat to collaborate, it’s time to upgrade.
6. An Integrated Customer Relationship Management Suite
You want to grow your company’s customer base. To do this, you’ll need an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) suite that provides detailed visibility into your audiences, prospects, and customers.
A good CRM knits together every piece of your business development and marketing architecture. That architecture should include bespoke prospecting, content marketing, paid search advertising, email marketing, and more.
In other words, your CRM should be your marketing operation’s control center. It should serve as a single-view dashboard of what’s likely to be an increasingly complex customer-facing posture.
It shouldn’t stop there. A truly effective CRM gives you insights into what you can do differently, smarter, and better. It should enhance your efforts both to reach prospects when they’re most likely to convert and keep existing customers happy.
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7. A Managed Service Provider That Can Help You Leverage (And Navigate) the Cloud
Your IT team works hard enough. When you ask too much of it, you risk burning out key members. That threatens the quality of the entire team’s work..
Besides, managing your entire IT footprint in-house is a really expensive proposition. As your company grows, its IT needs will grow proportionally. But you might not be in a position to grow your IT team fast enough to keep up.
The solution is clear. You need to offload non-core IT functions to a capable managed service provider (MSP) that can help you leverage the cloud and multiply your IT team’s efforts. Your MSP should empower the IT staff you retain or add to focus on the most important, highest-value jobs.
Empower Your Team With These Tech Solutions
Your enterprise will be stronger, more productive, and more profitable if you commit to making these overdue business upgrades now.
It’s true that their implementation will bring some hiccups. You might experience flashes of doubt or need to change course before the job is done. But that’s normal — every strategic shift brings its share of problems.
What’s important is that you make targeted investments in the solutions and capabilities your business needs to thrive. Those investments are worth whatever transient difficulties they cause.