The Resiliency “Test”: Will Your Business Survive the Pandemic?
by Tony Fields
Innovative IT solutions hold the answer to capitalizing on the new virtual business landscape.
Companies that, months ago, had booming brick and mortar locations, serving thousands, if not millions, of customers every week, have now become almost invisible. Fortune 500 companies that once were the staples and backbones of our economy are on the brink of closing forever. To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed how we live and work is an understatement. And, as many small, medium, and large businesses alike scramble for online space and for online customers in this new virtual environment, a key factor that will determinewhich businesses thrive during this economic downturn will simply be… technology.
From cloud services, to IT support, to innovative ways of using video conferencing to connect with employees and customers, technology will be essential to growing any (and every) business within this new reality.
That’s why what you do now – investing in technology – will be very important to effectively insulate your business from the extreme uncertainty of the times. Here are three critical ways you should be leveraging technology now to ensure that your business remains resilient and strategically positioned to thrive.
- Connect Your Apps to a Team Collaboration Platform. It’s common for companies to be using different types of cloud software in different areas of their operations. The accounting department may use an online accounting program, while the customer support team uses a cloud-based CRM program.When everyone is separated, not only does this slow down your responsiveness internally, but it also can impact your external customer support. A recent survey of companies has shown that now 40% of businesses are struggling to engage what they called “stranded employees.” By using an integrated communication platform such as Microsoft Teams or Slack, you can better support and connect with all of your now virtual employees. In addition, this infrastructure enables you to meet the new level of responsiveness that your customers have now come to expect.
- Get Dedicated IT Maintenance in Place. With every business rushing to implement virtual options for both employees and customers, expect there to be a dramatic rise in security breaches and network failures. That’s why having a dedicated and reputable IT support team or vendor is critical to how well you can safely expand your business’ technological capabilities. Studies have shown that each unmanaged computer costs businesses, on average, approximately $5,000 a year. And, security breaches become more common when devices aren’t being kept up to date with security patches and continuous threat monitoring.When employees are no longer working in a single office, they may be lacking some of the IT support you had in place. That lack of help when they need it can be a drain on productivity. If your team of 30 employees struggles with IT issues for just 25 minutes a day each while working from home and your average salary is $20 per hour, that would be a productivity loss of $1,250 every week.
- Integrate New Technology to Lower Costs. As working capital becomes strained for most companies, switching to more efficient technologies that enable remote employees to get more done for less is highly recommended. Take VoIP for example. By transitioning to a cloud phone system, companies can lower their phone costs alone by 50-75%. Other exciting new technologies to consider implementing include the Windows Virtual Desktop which gives employees complete remote access to the same systems and databases they would normally use in the office. This can assist in decreasing operating costs by not having to buy additional software licenses for your new virtual workforce.
If your company would benefit from having a complimentary consultation to make the virtual transition as seamless as possible, feel free to contact Cleartech Group’s award-winning IT infrastructure experts at 978-466-1938 or reach out online.
What is a Guest Columnist?
Being a member of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber provides members with many opportunities to gain valuable information and connections. We are always on the lookout for valuable content that would be on interest to our members and communities. In an effort to provide an avenue to more easily access the vast array of the knowledge and expertise that our members possess, we are now offering exclusive Guest Columnist articles for the benefit of our members. As a membership based organization, submissions will only be considered from members at the Business Choice level and above.
This is a great opportunity to position your business as a thought leader and expert. Columns should not be self-promotional or sales oriented ,and should consist of content that would be useful to businesses, including tips, answers to important questions and any insights that would be helpful to fellow members. By participating, members have the chance to better inform, educate and aid in the development of other members and the North Central Massachusetts region.
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