Making sure technology doesn’t leave your small business behind

Small-business owners not only have to stay on top of the advancements in their industry, they have to make sure their offices operate with software that allows competitive performance.

Cloud computing and mobile performance are tech updates your small business should explore.

Technology changes rapidly. Small-business owners not only have to stay on top of the advancements in their industry, they have to make sure their offices operate with software that allows competitive performance.

If you’re a security dealer, you need to keep abreast of new security and surveillance equipment. You also have to keep an eye on the servers, computing devices and security dealer software your employees use.

Audit your systems
Recently, Microsoft announced it will no longer provide service for Window Server 2003. Techradar reported that lack of awareness will probably lead to many businesses failing to update their systems. Companies have a bad habit of taking their tech for granted and just patching solutions as they come up as opposed to carefully examining their operations.

Your company should be well aware of the age of each piece of hardware it utilizes. The performance of your technology assets should be recorded like every other valuable piece of your business. Manuals, warranties and other documentation must be part of your business’s central database.

If you wait until the last minute to replace equipment, you’re not getting the optimum performance out of new technology. You should check your software tools for competitive processing speed and streamlined communication. Entrepreneur suggested performing an audit of technology functions before every major sales event to ensure you’re not missing out on any customer communications or transactions.

Let employees have their say
The members of your staff who use your software everyday should communicate how the technology performs according to their daily needs.

Demand Media said employees should have a chance to carefully explain the exact difficulties they have encountered. You should record all communications into a centralized resource so you can compare and contrast concerns to find recurring themes.

While employees may not be IT professionals, they probably use computing devices in their daily lives. If their work station computer gives them more trouble than the phone in their pocket, they’re going to get frustrated.

Slow technology will frustrate employeesSlow technology will frustrate employees

What do customers use?
Customers are also using mobile devices for their primary computing needs. Smart Insights shared the results of a comScore survey that found the majority of U.S. consumers prefer using mobile apps to access Internet services over desktop options.

This doesn’t necessarily indicate your office has to go completely mobile, but it does mean you have to provide online materials that function on phones and tablets. If your client wants to pay their bill on their phone, your security billing software has to be mobile-capable. Small Business Digest said you have to be aware of what technology your customer prefers so you can meet their needs.

As a security provider, you might also want to provide mobile solutions for your service agents so they can plug into the company infrastructure while speaking to customers in their homes.

“IT resources are big investments.”

Be aware of your options
When something breaks or becomes outdated, do you usually just replace it with a similar model without contemplating an upgrade? Do you check to see how the new solution integrates with old systems?

When you discover problems with your current hardware or software, it’s a chance for your company to gain a competitive edge. Techradar said companies who have to replace their 2003 Servers should look for off-site hosting options. Many small businesses move to the cloud so they can open documents in multiple locations, save money on overhead and gain more software flexibility.

IT resources are big investments, so you have to spend your funds wisely. You might think about placing a member of your staff in charge of researching all possible options and providing them time to gather information.

Finding the right software provider
Once you have audited your system, spoken to your employees, discovered your customer’s tech demands and researched your options, it is time to talk to a software partner. You want to begin the conversation using a complete history of your current technology’s performance.

A proper software partner should be well versed in your industry and provide you with a solution scalable to your needs. Also, the relationship shouldn’t end after the purchase. Some companies provide implementation strategies and provide updates as soon as they become available.

You want to shop around and find a security dealer software provider that will be an ally for your ongoing tech needs.

Is This You?

  • You've outgrown your software!
  • Billing & Collections is too time-consuming!
  • You have too many slow pay accounts
  • You need to automate your processes!
  • You enter the same data multiple times!