In our last article we explored how technology is the driving force for businesses all over the globe. Advancements in technology have only increased our reliance on it - the modern world, both in business and otherwise, is consumed by it.
The last few years forced business owners into a steep learning curve, when they realised that the right well managed and implemented technology has the potential to revolutionise the workplace and solve the challenges that they and their teams battle with every day. This is referred to as a Digital Transformation.
Again, as we explained in the previous article, it’s no good going out and spending money on new tech when you don’t have enough knowledge about what you actually need. You must follow the steps outlined in our first article first for the transformation to be a successful one, because accurately identifying the challenges that you and your team face daily is important, and doing so will guarantee that what you are buying is going to benefit the organisation going forward and not just leave a big hole in your pocket.
The benefits of a successful Digital Transformation:
Improved team well-being
Having poor standards of IT can lead to more problems than just the obvious ones. Morale can take a serious hit by forcing your team to use IT that simply isn’t capable of doing the job or – arguably worse – can do the job but at a snail’s pace which can cause your team to feel negative about their day’s work before it even begins. Providing your team with tools that are straightforward in functionality, catered, and which give them with a pleasant digital experience will boost productivity and morale immediately, making for a positive workday and a happy team.
As we just explored, providing your team with tools that allow them to work efficiently is going to boost morale, in turn leading them to produce more work of a better quality, which then results in more business and – most importantly – more profit. As obvious as this is, you don’t have to throw copious amounts of money at something to make it work – finding a cost-effective approach is much more beneficial. With a positive and educated outlook, a simple solution may resolve the problem which will be brilliant, and if it doesn’t then you haven’t broken the bank to find that out. Your business will have the opportunity to thrive if you provide your team with the tools that are catered to the way they like to work, are efficient, and more than capable of doing the job they were purchased to do.
Modern technology is designed to be flexible; it has to be or it wouldn’t be around for long. This flexibility allows you to scale at a moment’s notice. “Why would I want to do anything that urgently?”, I hear you say, and you would be right. It is always best to prepare for anything that may go wrong in your organisation but, unfortunately, – as the pandemic proved to us – this isn’t always possible. (Businesses began the week with a full office of 40 users, by Wednesday that was down to 10 and the rest were at home, and by Friday everyone was remote working.) Now, as things are progressively getting better, they may choose to have a half remote working team and half in-house – with a modern Cloud based IT solution this flexibility is all made possible. In simpler terms, with the Cloud you pay for what you use, not for what you thought you were going to use.
Every industry must comply by some sort of regulation. With a modern technological landscape – and the constant use of best practice – you can be confident that you are remaining compliant to your obligations at all times.
Now that you are familiar with the benefits that can come from a Digital Transformation, why one is necessary to keep up with the modern age, and know the first steps to completing yours successfully, let’s take a look at options on the market now.
The options on the market:
A Cloud-based file server
Cloud computing sits comfortably at the peak of the pile, and is by quite some way the future of IT on the planet. You will be hard pressed to find someone that hasn’t heard of it, and this is why the majority of businesses around the world are choosing this as their preferred IT solution. A Cloud-based file server is a virtual server (rather than a physical server) running in a Cloud Computing environment and is perfect if you have specific applications or databases that need hosting.
Cloud-based file sharing system
Cloud-based file sharing is a system in which a user has their own storage space on a server and everything is carried out over the Internet. It has many benefits but, despite these, many business owners find that it can be a particularly difficult one to use. This is partially due to the fact that it is nigh impossible to implement an ‘information when necessary’ ethos or any security protocols around both yours and your clients’ sensitive data (as permissions aren’t ring-fenced). This can allow the wrong people to have access to sensitive information, which could jeopardise the safety of your entire technological landscape and, in turn, the reputation of your business in the view of your customers.
On-site file server with a VPN / Remote Desktop Connection
Both are a viable option as they allow for anonymous information transactions, but – as we all know – the majority of teams, especially the older generation, are usually not as technically able. Some users find it clunky and very difficult to understand. It will only operate on a constant, reliable internet connection and with constant support for devices – all of which needs to be done individually - this can make your business a recipe for disaster in the eventuality of a power cut or disaster that forces you to lose internet connection, and then your business will not be able to trade. It can also be a pain to connect a VPN to mobile devices. This is often enough to persuade business owners to look elsewhere – especially as some business owners do the majority of their work via their mobile device.
SharePoint by Microsoft is growing in popularity as an accumulation of SharePoint within Microsoft 365’s range of tools and has proved itself as a set up that can more than hold its own. Millions of us around the world are already familiar with the Microsoft suite of tools, either from using them at work, at home, or some of us in school – this makes it the logical decision for most, as you and your team have a bit of head start rather than learning from scratch. SharePoint allows your team to access documents from anywhere in the world whilst being structured to their needs. It also cleverly interconnects with other tools in the Microsoft Suite - going back to the familiarity aspect of SharePoint, with your team already having a certain level of familiarity with the Microsoft suite of tools, SharePoint can be implemented, managed, and used with very few teething problems.
There are many digital solutions on the market available today, so explore them and find one that is best for your organisation.
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