Best Technologies to Maximize Business Efficiency | 6 minute read
Businesses can influence productivity in many ways. The first and most important influence is the overall strategy that the business leaders develop. But, close on the heels of strategy is the ability to execute the strategy successfully, which requires three things:
- People: Highly productive employees executing on goals that are aligned with the organization's strategic objectives.
- Processes: Linked tasks which end in the delivery of a services or products that accomplish an organizational goal.
- Technology: Techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives.
In this article we will look at technologies designed to promote efficiency in modern day professional, managerial, and administrative work – jobs that have traditionally been laden with copious amounts of paper as well as formal procedures and processes, but first we will take a brief look at what we call the Three-legged Stool of Technology Implementation…
The Three-legged Stool of Technology Implementation
Often businesses focus on the technology itself as the means to an end – implement the right technology and efficiency will follow. But, it’s not that simple!
Successful implementation of any business technology requires more than just a technology platform!
Technology is one leg of a three-legged stool. The other two legs need to be honed to ensure that the technology performs optimally. And while great technology is essential, ensuring that the technology you decide upon is the right one for your organization, you must invest in the other two legs of the stool if you want a firm base for organizational growth.
The processes leg requires knowledgeable process improvement strategies and business process reengineering to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the processes. To get a start on process improvement, see our “Check List Business Process Improvement.”
The third leg of our efficiency stool is people – the employees who are doing the work, as well as the clients and customers the organization serves. Technological transformation that ignores the people aspect of the change initiative do not achieve their goals and do not sustain themselves over the long term. For this reason, it is essential that organizational leaders focus on the organization’s culture, specifically the way clients interact with the business and the way employees go about their day-to-day work. Feedback from both employees and clients prior to any major technological change that affects the way these interactions occur in order to prevent resistance to adoption of the new technology.
While it’s always been important to engage both clients and employees prior, during and after organizational change, it’s even more important now as both workforce and customers are drawn from the Millennial Generation and GenZ. Having been born into a technological world, these generations are bringing changed expectations to all organizations. If you expect your company to not only succeed but thrive in the 21st Century, you need to take heed of these new expectations.
For instance, they expect different technological solutions that:
- improve digital communication across the business
- increase connectivity of staff, including those working remotely
- enable collaboration between different teams or parts of the business
- enhance employee engagement and motivate staff
- automate repetitive tasks
- eliminate data entry
- are mobile friendly
Let’s look at the best of these technologies:
As IT costs rise, many organizations are moving information onto cloud storage platforms, but simple file storage does not adequately organize or protect information, complicating retrieval and compliance. ImageSilo offers sophisticated organization to improve organizational efficiencies while maintaining very complex security requirements. Best of all, as a cloud service, ImageSilo lowers the overall cost of managing information.
Using ImageSilo from Paper Alternative ensures a great product and a great experience, because of the added benefit of their collective 65+ years of ECM knowledge and experience. Nothing improves the success of technology implementation and ROI more than experience.
- Trust THE Industry Leader
Thousands of organizations trust ImageSilo to manage their critical corporate content. Launched in 1999, it was the first cloud content management service available and is recognized as the industry-leading service today. ImageSilo offers unparalleled reliability, boasting an uptime of more than 99.9% throughout its twenty-year history.
- Intelligently Locate Information
Powerful search allows users to locate virtually any information within seconds, saving countless hours of productivity. Rest assured that you are working on the most current version of a document because powerful check-in/check-out and versioning controls manage content. Access virtually any type of file, including images, Microsoft®Office files, and PDFs within a single system for easy management.
- Protect Sensitive Data
To ensure users have access to only what they need, ImageSilo has multiple layers of security, including transmission, system, data, and application security. Administrators can lock down private data in compliance with a wide variety of regulations, and automated document retention and destruction policies simplify records storage. Encryption further protects data both during transmission and when stored.
- Integrate Seamlessly
Working effortlessly with Microsoft Office, users can upload files directly and control document versions using tool-bars and menus. Sending documents to other systems is as easy as a point-and-click integration module or utilizing the custom APIs. You won’t have to leave your line-of-business application to store and retrieve critical data, streamlining business processes and saving operational costs.
- Enjoy Economic Freedom with Cloud
As a cloud-based service, ImageSilo changes the economics of content management. The service allows you to minimize IT burden by outsourcing hardware, software and maintenance costs. No capital expenditure means a tax-deductible operating expense. Plus, unlimited users and data storage means the system automatically adapts as your organization grows.
- Increase Reliability
As a cloud service, ImageSilo improves your ability to protect corporate records from disaster. All data is securely backed up, and businesses can access information from any location using virtually any device. In the event of a disaster, your business can continue operations as soon as you are ready.
While an ECM like ImageSilo supports a paperless, fully digital workplace, the fact is that you will still have problems with paper that will slow down efficiency. Despite email, texting and other forms of digital communication, the vast amount of business communications come via Snail Mail! That’s right – your mailroom will slow down processes and efficiency every time! A digital mailroom stops paper at its source.
Benefits of a Digital Mailroom
Lower Cost of Operations
- Reduces paper clutter
- Cuts the need for extra mailroom clerks during high volume periods.
- Reduces manual labor processes
Customer Service Improvements
- Customer information gets to the right people faster
- Interact with customers digitally
- Faster and more accurate
One Central Location
- Central control of all critical mail delivery
- Faster delivery of documents
- Track mail delivery and workflow
- All documents are captured and recorded upon receipt
- Paper records are digitized and audit trails are established
- Storing, maintaining and retrieving legal documents is made simpler
Automatic Forms Processing
Distributing and collecting forms, then extracting and analyzing the data can be a time-consuming task for any organization. Yet, for most service-based organizations, form completion is the first step in client intake, as well as the standard method of updating existing information. Whether the forms are in paper format, or online, the data needs to be processed. Make forms processing a snap with Forms Magic!
Robotic Process Automation
Any work process that is definable, repeatable, and rules-based can be mapped out and assigned a software robot or “Bot” to manage the execution of that process, just as a human would. This is called Robotic Process Automation (RPA). RPA is separate and distinct form an organization’s IT structure. It is not another business application. Rather it is a substitute for a human worker to operate business applications.
Robotic Process Automation helps companies execute various business processes quickly and accurately at reduced costs with less need for ongoing human intervention. This frees employees to participate in more value-added activities that involve personal interaction, problem solving, and decision making.
Robotic Process Automation allows employees to complete tasks that are more valuable to the company and its customers. When employees feel their work is valued and worthwhile, their productivity increases, which increases employee retention rates, and they’re better supported for these tasks by the RPA. This can help increase productivity and cut costs.
People, processes and technology drive today’s businesses. While technology is crucial to this trilogy, without the right processes and engaged people success will be limited.
People: Ensure that you consider all the people who are affected by your problem and its possible solutions.
Process: Work with the people to articulate their problems and processes before you look at technology. Implementation of technology should be to improve function, not to add bells and whistles.
Technology: Ensure that your chosen technologies provide a solution best serves the people who will be using it. In general this means, simple to use, regardless of how complex it may actually be.