In recent years, new technologies have enabled small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to level the playing field with large companies, streamline processes, expand their offerings, and connect with their customers more efficiently. If you own or manage a small business, these are some of the technology solutions you should consider, to gain an edge over your competition.
Human resources platforms
Human resources (HR) platforms are becoming increasingly popular since they store all employee data in a central database. They also streamline and automate a wide variety of HR functions from recruitment and administration to payroll and attendance, like scheduling annual leaves, and alerting managers on employee details such as remaining sick leaves. HR departments love them because they free their personnel from manual administrative tasks, allowing them to focus more on company growth initiatives, such as employee engagement.
Customer relationship management software
Customer relationship management (CRM) software greatly eases tasks related to managing contacts, prospects, and customer information, impacting business practices, especially in sales and marketing.
It is a database of everyone your company does business with. This not only includes prospects and customers, but vendors, suppliers, and partners as well. One standout benefit of this software is that it allows you to quickly integrate your calendars and email lists with the correct data, so you can work on your marketing campaigns and create workflows more effectively.
Managed IT and security
In today’s data-driven business landscape, data security has become a must for every enterprise. If your business handles data, you can’t ignore the threat of data breaches, malware, and other cybercriminal activities. Even as a small business, you have data worth stealing.
Managed services providers (MSPs) make sure that your data is secure through an array of security solutions that work together as a comprehensive or multilayered defense to mitigate multiple vulnerabilities and risks. What's more, entrusting your data security to an MSP empowers remote productivity. Your applications and your data can be safely accessed by your team from any device, making remote working easier so that greater productivity and cost savings can be achieved.
MSPs aren’t limited to security but cover a wide range of scalable technology solutions, including remote monitoring, compliance solutions, and cloud services. So as your business expands and IT demands increase, you can depend on an MSP partner such as Netquest for 24/7 expert IT management. This comes at a fraction of the cost of hiring your own specialists or purchasing off-the-shelf solutions and hardware. It’s as if your business has its own IT department but at a pay-as-you-go payment scheme.
Cloud accounting and expense automation
Many businesses are switching from storing their accounting applications on local servers to accessing them from cloud-based systems. With this switch, small businesses are reaping benefits such as quicker support, 24/7 application maintenance, and also easier integration with other systems. Cloud-based storage also offers the advantage of being accessed from just about any device with an internet connection. Many of these cloud-based accounting applications have also streamlined accounting processes like invoicing, storing receipts, and making reports.
It was once a regular practice to scan documents and store them in a clunky filing system. As a result, these files were often difficult to find or retrieve. Nowadays, automation technology has allowed businesses to quickly extract data from a document, such as an invoice from a vendor, and store this in an easily searchable database for review or import into an accounting application. This not only saves time and improves accuracy when it comes to expense-related tasks, but cuts overhead costs as well.
Analytics was once an option only available to larger enterprises. Only they had the capital for the powerful hardware needed to process big data. Nowadays, however, small businesses have access to free or affordable analytics tools to derive insights and make data-driven decisions. Popular analytics tools include those specially designed for online businesses to help them track customer data and discover trends that directly affect their bottom line, like which marketing channels produce the most valuable customers.
Other SaaS technologies
With the rise of remote working and mobile devices, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies are thriving. SaaS is a popular form of cloud computing and software distribution model, wherein a cloud service provider hosts, manages, and maintains applications that are available to customers via the internet and on a monthly subscription. The types of software are practically limitless, from cloud-based accounting and HR management platforms to collaboration and productivity suites.
These applications are specifically designed for an SMB’s technological needs, such as easy integration with your other business-critical applications and business goals (e.g., efficient tracking of customer engagement or other operational data). And typically, SaaS applications in the market aren’t limited to a single function, but offer a suite of services including workflow automation, data management, customer support communications, and performance metrics.
Are you still looking for the right technology for your company? At NetQuest, we offer IT consulting and virtual chief information officer services (vCIO) to streamline or upgrade your technology with strategic planning and expert execution. Let our experts implement the perfect technology strategy for your business. Talk to us today.
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