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5 Ways to Improve Your Business Through IT

Carol Evenson Dec 13, 2019
How can technology, and specifically your information technology department, help you improve your business and enhance your success? Here are a few vital ways.
Technology has become an integral part of doing business in every industry but constant innovation can make the choices and challenges seem overwhelming.

Cybersecurity

Security must be the first priority. Data breaches cost companies millions, and the financial effects can be felt for years. Malicious attacks, the most common type of breach and the hardest to remediate, are on the rise. Be sure your IT department is using the most updated, robust security systems available.
Next generation firewall protection is a must; ngfw allows IT managers to consistently block harmful malware. Passwords are often the weak link regarding user negligence, which can be addressed using multi-factor authentication systems.
Numerous users accessing the same files may compound the threat, so insist on stringent cyber-security policies and comprehensive training, then continually monitor each user’s activity.

Data Gathering and Analytics

Companies have always benefited from understanding their clientele and more detailed information is available than ever before. If competitors know more about consumers than you, do they have a huge advantage in the marketplace? However, massive amounts of data can be overwhelming; you must be able to make sense of it.
That’s where data analytics come into play. Knowing who is buying your products and services, when, and why will help your business in several ways. It can help you target your marketing efforts effectively, promoting different features and benefits—or even different product lines—to various demographics, according to purchase patterns.
Analytics can also assist a firm in discovering untapped markets, adjusting product offerings or even changing major parts of the business model to meet consumers’ ever-changing demands.

Communication

The key to any relationship is good communication; the customer relationship is no different. The good news is, technology facilitates communication over many modes so everyone can reach you in the way most intuitive and comfortable for them.
The worse part is that you must manage messages coming in via phone, email, text and social media messaging—then reply over the same mode. One way your IT department can assist you is by streamlining those external messages. Another way is by improving internal communication, ensuring speed and accuracy in exchanging notes within and among departments.
IT departments in multinational firms must enable quick, accurate communication among varying time zones and languages.

Efficiency

Computers have made many business tasks faster and more efficient. It is almost impossible to think of an industry untouched by IT. Consider the logistics field. Professional truck drivers no longer use timesheets, road atlases and paper fuel receipts; they use tracking and dispatch software, onboard GPS and fuel pump debit card readers.
Indeed, the job itself may soon be eliminated by autonomous vehicles. That’s just one slice of an extremely large pie—automation, artificial intelligence and the internet of things will continue to enable businesses to speed up products and services in unforeseeable ways.
Your IT department can optimize the use of advancements and position you at the forefront of technological changes.

Virtual Workplaces

Technology will never fully replace people, but your IT department can contribute significantly to your firm’s human resources. How? By making remote work possible. Remote work is becoming ubiquitous; in 2018 around half of American employees were working from home at least one day a week and the trend seems poised to continue for the foreseeable future.
There are several reasons for the popularity of virtual employment. Workers enjoy the flexibility and lack of commute time; businesses appreciate higher levels of morale and productivity along with lower real estate expenses. IT departments make it all work despite increasing complex technology demands.
Though virtual workers are often quite computer savvy, IT professionals set up network connectivity, maintain proper access and restrictions, act as tech support and counteract the security concerns presented by cloud storage systems.
By successfully navigating these challenges, your IT department can place your company at the top of the “best places to work” list—and being at the top of that list is good for your bottom line.