In many businesses, technology can often be the driving force behind success. Having the right computers, phone systems, mobile devices and Internet connections for your staff can mean enhanced efficiencies, greater productivity and more opportunities for sales and success. If you’re just starting out with a new business, it can also mean a better business launch and a stronger kick-start for your brand. What will you need to consider when upgrading your business tech?
You should make sure your IT budget has sufficient funds to cover all the changes or upgrades you want to make. If you have been simply getting by with a single phone line and a couple of computers, your budget may be in for a tough workout.
Make an inventory of all the new items you want to include and note down how much each will cost to purchase, install and maintain. If you find your budget is not adequate, you may want to focus on the most important tech upgrades first or consider taking out a business loan.
Computers and tablets
Desktops are standard for businesses, but if you are a client facing company with staff out on the road a lot, providing your employees with laptop or tablets can greatly improve their productivity and their ability to drive home a sale. Tablets also place your company on the cutting edge of technology, portraying you as a forward-thinking and advanced brand.
If you already have a range of computers in your care, you may want to speak to your IT team about how to increase the efficiency and speed of each device. A slow-working computer can greatly slow down daily productivity, so conduct an audit of your current computers and gauge which need to be upgraded.
Smaller businesses can suffice with only one or two phone lines, but if your business intends to grow, upgrading your phone systems can also be beneficial. Consider realistically how many lines you will need in future; if you have a busy switchboard, you may also want to invest in a PABX system or software that can help manage incoming and outgoing calls.
Smartphones are indeed the way of the future and, in today’s world, phones can do much more than simply make and receive calls. They can be used to write emails, surf the web, monitor applications, access databases, take photos and watch videos.
Setting your staff up with the latest smartphone technology is a great way to push your business forward and improve productivity. Consider what type of phone (BlackBerry, iPhone, Android) is going to be best for your employees and their daily activities and desires.
A high-speed broadband connection should also be part of your business tech upgrade, especially if you are currently working with slower connections. Consider investing in ADSL2+ or higher and chat to your Internet provider about your specific broadband usage and desired speeds. Sending emails, for instance, requires much less effort for a broadband connection than streaming music or watching videos.
The equipment in your office can also be part of your business tech and from your experience, you probably already understand how a slow printer or an age-old photocopier can impact productivity and create downtime. If your office equipment is outdated, consider including it in your upgrades. You may want to purchase or rent a printer, copier and fax machine in one, for instance, or simply upgrade to a device with higher turnaround speeds.