In order for a business today to remain competitive, it must be willing to embrace new technologies. Using old or outdated technology can leave a business trailing in the dust of those newer businesses that have emerged to the forefront of the industry, especially when reaping the benefits that new technology affords them. Of course, this means that one must also be aware of new technology and how they might benefit your business, which is not always so easy to do. In fact, there is a term for technologies that tend to blindside companies that aren't yet aware of them—disruptive technologies.
Although the term "disruptive" has a negative connotation, one should not think that technology is necessarily a bad thing. It is only bad if you don't know how to harness the power and benefits of new technology for yourself, especially when newer, bolder competitors are doing so in order to maintain their own edge in the marketplace. So here is a little insight into some new disruptive technologies that many companies are already embracing, while others aren't even aware they exist.
1. The Cloud
Chances are you've heard of the Cloud, if not in business, then perhaps in a movie, commercial or TV show. The Cloud is everywhere, but not everyone is using it. Not everyone needs to, but businesses definitely should, and if you knew how beneficial it could be for your own business productivity, you'd be using it too. Don't understand the Cloud? That's okay, not many people do. What's important is knowing how to use it, and knowing what it can do to change the face of how we do business.
The Cloud is much more than a form of online storage. Using cloud-based applications, you can share documents with others, edit them from any mobile device at any time, communicate better with team members, colleagues and clients, manage teams and projects in real-time, and much more. Take some time to learn about the cloud and some cloud-based apps designed for business—you'll be glad you did when productivity improves significantly.
2. Paperless Business Technology
Why waste expenses on unnecessary printing, faxing, mailing of documents, and time waiting for documents to be mailed back, when you can transfer documents and have them signed within minutes by utilizing paperless business technology? Features such as digital signage allow you to send a document to someone in a form that they can easily open and view on their own PC, and subsequently sign it digitally and send it right back. This of course saves both time and expense, and mobile options enable this to be done anywhere, at anytime. Invoicing, billing, and other business tasks that used to require immense amounts of ink, paper and mailing can now be done digitally.
3. Virtual phone systems
The standard business telephone system is a thing of the past. Virtual phone systems, which are phone systems that work over the Internet rather than through traditional telephone lines, are not only more cost-effective, but also offer you more features and functionality that can improve communication, productivity, and marketing efforts. With a virtual phone system, you'll gain a wide host of features that can make your company appear more professional, as well as ensure that time is not wasted waiting for employees and team members to return phone calls when they are out of the office. With call forwarding and mobile phone numbers, you can be sure to be able to reach your employees no matter where they might be.
4. Mobile computing
With consumers finding more businesses these days on their mobile devices rather than through their desktop PCs and the ancient tome you might recall as the Yellow Pages, it makes sense to have a mobile web presence for your business, and possibly even a mobile app, depending upon your industry and what you offer your clients and customers. Additionally, you will find that productivity improves when employees are able to conduct their work on their mobile devices, which can easily be done by way of cloud-based applications, and communication facilitators such as virtual phone systems. See how today's technology all works in conjunction?
5. Big Data
Big data is essentially a multitude of data collected and compiled from multiple sources, which can then be used by organizations to predict future trends as well as better understand current ones. The information gathered can be used for better marketing and sales forecasting, as well as developing new methods of doing business to be better prepared for possible future events. The analytics help companies and organizations work smarter, and work faster, with more efficiency and cost-effectiveness.