You don’t need to be told it’s critical to stay on top of business technology trends. It’s widely recognized that in today’s fast-moving business world, companies are only as good as the technology they use. That said, it can feel overwhelming to decide what to invest in. New developments appear every day, each one touting itself as the answer to all your office woes—it’s enough to make any IT pro’s head spin.
You don’t need to invest in every flashy technology coming your way, though. In fact, simply investing in the newest versions of the most tried-and-true technology tools may be enough. Streamlined laptops, modern printers, and advanced business software form the backbone of what you need to improve cost efficiencies, optimize operational workflows, and enhance worker productivity in this rapidly evolving business climate.
With the now indivisible connection between business and technology, there are new expectations for IT. You’re expected to obtain better, faster outcomes that differentiate your business, manage costs, and build value for your customers. To do this, you’ll want to focus on broad goals and a flexible structure that allows you to adjust to the needs of your organization. Read on to learn how you can choose the modern technology tools that will help you accomplish this goal.
Stay on top of emerging trends
You need to develop a strategy for keeping abreast of IT innovations, but let’s face it, the daily grind of maintaining your IT environment can be all-consuming. The most innovative technologists and business leaders have developed approaches that let them stay current on business technology trends despite their busy days, and some of these techniques include:
- Regularly networking with peers in different businesses or industries
- Communicating with your IT team frequently, so they can discuss new ideas and potential workplace innovations as a team
- Keeping up with a consistent reading list that includes current periodicals
- Finding forward-thinking technologists on Twitter or LinkedIn to follow
Learning about new technology trends will help you understand what is underperforming in your IT ecosystem—and what tools you can leverage to address those issues.
Help users go from the desktop to the coffee shop
As a first step, you may want to look at employee computers. When you empower your users with the right tools, they can more effectively collaborate and respond to workload demands. In addition to the traditional needs of a brick-and-mortar office, you should also take into consideration remote work requirements, like virtual private networks (VPNs) and mobile devices, so your employees can be productive whether they’re at their desk or the coffee shop.
New, more secure, high-performance laptops can meet your user needs at the office or in remote locations, like customer sites or home offices. If you target a model that’s thin and light with the specs needed to facilitate fast productivity, you’ll look like a real hero to users sick of clunky, old laptops. When you find a supplier who offers lifecycle services at a per-seat, per-month cost, you’ll get a lot of appreciation from the CFO, too.
Securely manage your print workflow
People tend to think of printers as yesterday’s technology, so they leave old models in the corner to gather dust. But printers are an essential part of a fully modern IT environment. Without modernized printing technology, you risk losing time, money, and possibly data in a cyberbreach. To stop advanced hacks that use internet-connected devices, like printers, you need state-of-the-art endpoint security that can detect and stop threats. Your printers, for instance, should include built-in secure boot, firmware integrity validation, and run-time code integrity, so they can foil malicious hacks before they spread to the broader network.
You may have experienced the ongoing challenge of managing multiple printers, copiers, and scanners in your IT environment. The time drain caused by paper jams and outdated machinery is massive. Replacing those faltering printers with new, 11×17 (A3) multifunction printers is a great way to reduce that time strain. These machines are energy-efficient and come complete with built-in tools that forecast issues, perform regular maintenance, and ensure your printers are online and available when your team needs a document. By replacing those clunky, old printers living in the corner with sleek, newer models, you can take most printer management tasks off your to-do list.
Bring new trends to your old software
Now that you’ve taken care of hardware, let’s look at the high-performance software tools you use to drive operational efficiencies, stimulate employee productivity, and reach out to potential customers. The type of software you’re used to deploying is likely being revolutionized by new technologies, like big data and machine learning. Investing in just a couple modernized versions of your most important applications could pay large dividends for your company.
As an example, take your customer relationship management (CRM) system. CRMs and other business development tools are evolving to take greater advantage of big data and machine learning, which translates to significantly more strategic opportunities. Innovative technologies are changing business software to look unrecognizable from past versions of the same types of tools. If you have any business software older than a few years, you’re missing out. Conduct an analysis of the age and effectiveness of the software in your organization and choose one or two that could use an upgrade to iterations capitalizing on new business technology trends.
Advanced print security, modernized employee devices, and data-driven software can give you advantages your predecessors could only imagine. New business technology trends are adapting rapidly to the market and trickling into every type of IT tool—now is the time to take a long, hard look at your IT environment and ask yourself, “Is my business ready for the future?”