5 Advanced Technology Examples To Make Your Business More Competitive
July 11, 2019
Advanced Technologies Can Drastically Modernize Your Company’s Processes
With more SMBs looking to implement some form of advanced technology into their organizations than ever before, decision makers are left wondering which solutions are right for their business moving forward.
Advanced technology is a valuable asset to growing companies of all sizes. Whether it’s a more efficient workflow or automated customer service, virtually every aspect of a business can be positively affected by improving technology in an organization. Its importance is such that 85% of decision makers say they have two years to have moved forward significantly with their digital transformation strategies or risk falling behind competitors.
Fortunately, advanced tech implementation is more affordable now for small businesses than it has ever been, and it is being pursued more fervently by companies trying to stay competitive—across all industries. Two thirds of SMBs state that technology is a primary factor in achieving their business aims, and SMBs will spend nearly $700 billion worldwide on IT tech by 2021.
Naturally, different businesses have different needs. When we work with clients, the roadmap we build for them will vary depending on what their priorities are, what their budget is, and the implementation timeline.
Let’s take a look at five examples of advanced technology which is keeping SMBs competitive in their digital transformations.
1. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) is an excellent tool for SMBs. Automated bots are excellent at carrying out repetitive jobs with amazing precision. Bots are pieces of software specifically configured to perform particular tasks, like data entry; supply chain management; and data gathering.
Bots can operate these complex functions 24/7 without assistance and make fewer mistakes than humans. Alleviated workers can then instead focus their energies on projects away from these types of repetitive tasks.
With 80 million jobs in the US considered good candidates for automation, it’s no surprise people are scrambling to implement automation solutions in their organizations. Such is its current rate of adoption that the worldwide market for RPA will grow from $846 million in 2018 to an estimated $4 billion by 2025.
RPA is the quickest-growing segment of the enterprise software market, with SMBs having more access to automation solutions after several years of use by large corporations. Our RPA partner, Kofax, for example, has seen substantial growth over the last two years alone—mostly in response to its ease of use for small businesses.
2. Document Data Extraction
Intelligent methods for extracting data and processing them are another example of how advanced technology can be a huge benefit to a modern business. Workers have for many years become accustomed to transcribing data from a document and manually entering it into a system of record.
Document data extraction, the process of automatically transcribing data digitally can save countless hours of time for employees. Purchase orders; client documents; customer records; invoices—all and more can be quickly and easily scanned for information in an accurate manner, improving data validation.
Combined with machine learning, its capabilities of handling data improve the more the system is used. This is especially useful when dealing with unstructured documents. Vendors like DocuWare are increasingly able to provide these functions to SMBs in full with affordability in mind.
The other benefit of having a data extraction system in place is the ability to store your data exactly where you need it. Processed document information can output into multiple systems and associated with existing data for easy integration.
3. Workflow Tools
One of the chief concerns of a business undergoing a digital transformation is improving data workflow within the organization. With the advanced technology of solutions like Enterprise Content Management, digitized data can now be efficiently processed and stored.
From here, it’s a relatively simple step to get that data downstream to the right people at the right time, regardless of department. Workflow tools, specifically cloud-based systems, are excellent at proving platforms for organizing work processes and projects within teams.
The functionality of these tools extends to management best practices, such as approval routing, data validation, and ensuring the integrity of data before it goes into your ERP system.
4. AI Assistants
With increased spending on automation tech comes a larger number of AI assets being implemented into the systems of many SMBs. One of the most common examples of automated tech in business is the use of chat-bots.
People engage with bots for customer service more than ever. They are excellent at solving simple issues, while more complex problems can be sent on to the right people to take care of. This means a lighter load for staff who far less regularly have to deal with simple customer queries.
In the past, it was common for people to have an aversion to dealing with AI assistants, but new technology means a litany of improved functions such as AI assisted voice recognition and sentiment analysis of messages and emails.
As a result, customers feel more comfortable than ever interacting with AI technology. For businesses, the goal of this is to get the relevant people involved as soon as possible while streamlining engagement with the client.
5. Low-Code Applications
The current rate of expansion for the managed services market is a result of SMBs increasing their expectations for what platforms they use in every aspect of their business; from their CRM to their mobile platform.
The gap between off-the-shelf software capabilities and the needs of workers on the ground is growing. Companies want customized solutions for unique processes, leading to users taking matters into their own hands and inventing ad-hoc methods to fill the gaps.
This will typically lead to tribal knowledge and siloed organizations, making onboarding, for example, difficult for new hires. Fortunately, industry-leading low-code platforms like Mendix are readily available to SMBs of any size and offer the opportunity address needs an off-the-shelf solution cannot.
Low-code development means app-building tools which can tackle or optimize complex and specific tasks—it’s as simple as dragging and dropping and takes less time than regular development. In North America, nearly 60% of all custom apps are now built outside the IT department by professionals who have little or no IT coding experience.
Whether it improves customer engagement or operational efficiencies, low-code platforms can offer enterprise-level apps for a fraction of the price for SMBs.
- Incorporating advanced technology into business processes is the primary strategy for SMBs undergoing digital transformation
- With improvements in cost, efficiency, and customer experience, SMBs will continue to heavily invest in new tech solutions
- IT solutions which use automation are more popular than ever among small businesses as the cost of implementation continues to become more affordable
Find Out How Advanced Technology Can Benefit Your Business Today
Advanced technology solutions help companies achieve and maintain a competitive advantage in their industry. Through leveraging the tools available, you can increase staff productivity and decrease costs—your business can enjoy higher operating capacity and deliver a superior customer experience.
Thinking it’s time to talk to someone about your company’s IT? Reach out to Impact’s Managed IT team and speak to one of our experts today! http://bit.ly/2Z7kldw