Since the digital age began, technology has been an accelerator for businesses large and small. In almost all cases, the companies that have performed the best, grown the fastest and changed our world the most, have wielded a secret weapon that most have not even considered -- technology.
Take Amazon for example. Mr. Bezos started an online bookstore in his garage in 1994. Expansion of the online sales business led to other business ventures, as well as the development of expertise in cloud technologies, which eventually led to a $600 million contract with the CIA for Amazon Web Services (AWS).
The Amazon of today has leveraged technology to become the biggest seller of products AND a logistics giant.
Why all of this about Amazon? We may not all become a technology giant, but there are technology advancements that most every company can leverage that will bring in new customers, provide better service, and reduce costs.
Here are a few:
The Teams platform took off in 2020 and we all know why. Video conferencing, online chat, and remote work were just expensive ideas 13 months ago, but are necessities today. Most organizations are using Zoom or Teams for collaboration and chat. Teams is even replacing traditional phones systems around the country and world.
Wide adoption of Teams has many people wondering what the phone on their desk is for when they can do everything they need to do from the Teams workspace. It may be time to consider getting rid of the traditional phone system, which could result in major savings on telco lines and phone switches.
You can’t go anywhere without hearing about cyber security and the increasing risks of cyber crime. In the last 12 months, there's been an explosion of activity to secure company data and resources in the face of increasing threats.
The threats are real, and we must do all we can to protect our businesses. That means that basic security isn’t enough. Sophisticated tools, like Endpoint Detect and Response (EDR), Security Information and Event Management System (SIEM), and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), are critical to defend against hacking attempts and theft of data.
EDR monitors activity and recognizes abnormal activity on an end-user device or network; a SIEM is used to identify a cyber attack; and MFA gives an additional verification step for system access.
These three technologies are in such high demand now that it is hard to find the IT personnel needed to perform the assessments and install the tools.
Organizations use SharePoint to create internal websites, and for secure data storage and sharing. Over the past two years, more companies are getting rid of expensive servers and disk drives, and putting their documents in the cloud.
SharePoint is a great cloud solution that centralizes data in one spot. It’s secure and it can be integrated into Teams and other Microsoft applications, and makes files easy to find. When you use SharePoint, you can go from – Where is our data? – to – What else can we do to streamline our business operations and the way we work with data?
Business Intelligence and Integration
Many of you have heard about Power BI. It’s a software used to visualize your data from any source. Many companies are betting that the intelligence garnered from looking at data is now a competitive advantage.
In the conversations we have with business owners and managers, they often convey concern about how their data is spread out in different locations and how they’re going to pull it all together so that they can make use of it. These concerns can be addressed with Power BI.
Companies that can find the resources to get Power BI moving have a distinct advantage over those who do not. In the past, this kind of reporting was a giant IT project. Today, workers are way more systems savvy than in the past. The resources needed to collect, analyze and use data with Power BI may already be on staff.
Go take advantage of some of the new stuff and see what happens!