Modern businesses have the luxury of implementing modern technology in order to improve their efficiency. Today’s technology is incredibly advanced, so much so that the world of commerce is undergoing a major tech revolution. Here’s what you need to know about the tech that will augment your business.
The internet has been the single most impactful innovation in all of human history for the way in which it has made the world a much smaller, more connected place. This has had numerous benefits, but one of the more financially lucrative advantages of the internet is the ability to work and hire workers remotely. Remote workers are those that work from home via the internet, and this has been a blessing not only to the workers themselves, but also to businesses of all kinds. Jobs that can be done using only a computer can be deployed away from your place of business in order to save you the costs of accommodating employees, and those workers get to make money from the comfort of their own homes. Payroll and editorial roles are great fits for this employment model, for example, and customer service is quickly adopting a remote workforce.
One of the many tools that make remote employees a viable possibility is that of teleconferencing technology, but this kind of tech has a number of applications for a wide variety of commercial interests. Teleconferencing apps like Skype allow businesses to function remotely by enabling face to face meetings regardless of distance. This, in tandem with email and smartphones, allows businesses to retain optimal efficiency with a remote or mobile workforce. It also allows for large corporations to communicate more effectively between branches, and it allows those who are in the middle of a business trip to communicate with headquarters from their hotel rooms.
One of the major advantages of teleconferencing is its potential to reduce the cost of group meetings. Savings come primarily from reduced travel costs. In fact, teleconferencing can reduce national business travel-associated costs by about 30% annually-a $4.5 billion savings.
Although saving money is a big advantage of teleconferencing, there are several other advantages:
People (including outside guest speakers) who wouldn't normally attend a distant FTF meeting can participate.
Follow-up to earlier meetings can be done with relative ease and little expense.
Socializing is minimal compared to an FTF meeting; therefore, meetings are shorter and more oriented to the primary purpose of the meeting.
Some routine meetings are more effective since one can audio conference from any location equipped with a telephone.
Communication between the home office and field staff is maximized.
Severe climate and/or unreliable transportation may necessitate teleconferencing.
Participants are generally better prepared than for FTF meetings.
It's particularly satisfactory for simple problem solving, information exchange, and procedural tasks.
Group members participate more equally in well moderated teleconferences than in an FTF meeting.
With the importance of the internet in modern commerce comes certain threats. Hackers can potentially benefit from the personal information of private citizens and the clientele of businesses, and the latter makes businesses a particularly enticing target for cyber attacks. This means that cybersecurity needs to be a priority for companies that make heavy use of the internet, a demographic that is rapidly growing. Multi-factor authentication and single sign-on solutions that communicate via SAML assertions can help to protect your business from hackers by making it harder for hackers to gain access to your network. This is especially helpful when your employees aren’t under direct supervision. It’s also important to protect your network directly by implementing intrusion detection and prevention software and network traffic analysis. While DDoS attacks are too elaborate to be common, they can cripple a business by taking down its network for anywhere from 10 minutes to several days, costing your company valuable time, money, and even reputation. DDoS prevention software is therefore a must, especially when you consider that DDoS attacks, by design, only target businesses.
Perhaps the most pivotal advancement in computing to date, cloud computing has transformed the concepts of both computing and networking. In fact, cloud computing is like a marriage between computing and networking, because it enables connected devices to work together in unison on the same tasks. Cloud connected computers can pool their processing power and other computational resources in order to simulate a supercomputer, and this has dramatically improved the efficiency of the companies that implement this alternative to conventional networking. Cloud storage enables the remote storing and sharing of files, something that has been widely adopted by consumers, as well. This helps to improve the workflow of businesses by eliminating various steps that a project entails, such as legwork, in order to reduce the time and effort needed to complete collaborative tasks. The true advantage of cloud technology is that it removes the prior spatial constraints of networking, and this further complements the shift toward remote work.
A companion of sorts to cloud computing is the Internet of Things, otherwise known as IoT, a design philosophy that aims to give users the ability to create a web of connected devices. This kind of technology is the driving force of the trend of the smart home or smart office. IoT devices can connect to wifi in order to communicate with each other, typically passing through a central hub such as a virtual assistant like Google Home. This hub allows users to control and monitor each of these devices remotely. A smart office gives businesses an unprecedented level of insight into and control of their inner workings and can imbue various devices with new capabilities such as self diagnostic capabilities.
Businesses have always used the latest and greatest tech in order to gain a competitive edge, and today is no different. However, the technology of the modern era is much more sophisticated and powerful than anything that has come before. This creates a greater barrier to entry, but those who can come to grips with this tech will go far.