It’s 2023, and it’s the Information Age, so it’s not a stretch to say technology makes the world go around. And if you run a business and you’re not keeping up with tech, you run the risk of falling behind competitors and losing customers who’d rather deal with a properly tech-savvy company.
So, to help you not be That Guy, here are five modern information-centred technologies that we are confident will enhance the operations of just about any kind of business that adopts them.
It seems obvious when you think about it, but having a printer (or printers) inside your organisation that connects wirelessly to your network is a big deal.
The primary benefit is that you can place these printers anywhere there is Wi-Fi coverage. That means you’re not limited to placing them near network points and can instead situate them in convenient locations.
This lets staff comfortably connect and print what they need without inconveniencing others or walking to out-of-the-way places to retrieve their documents.
You could argue that wireless printers are not a huge innovation, and you’d have a point. The technology has been in the consumer space for close to two decades now, but we encourage you not to take that wirelessness for granted – staff are not fond of long walks to retrieve prints, and having printers placed in easy-to-reach locations has the potential to speed up productivity and boost employee morale, both of which are invaluable.
Tablets and smartphones
Yes, this is another “Captain Obvious” suggestion, but it’s still appropriate. Tablets and smartphones are incredibly useful in a business context, as they give staff the mobility they need to do their jobs from anywhere.
Many of the applications that businesses use in their daily operations have mobile app counterparts, plus phones and tablets offer access to email, videoconferencing capabilities, instant messaging, and other business functions. They do all that with the added benefit of not needing to be connected to mains power. Plus they’re capable of internet access via cellular networks.
We saw during the pandemic that it’s perfectly feasible to have a productive mobile workforce. Tablets and smartphones are the primary tools that enable this.
Projectors are great for throwing images onto a big flat surface for use in team sessions. Portable projectors put the power of projecting on the go into your hands, a useful capability for businesspeople that travel. They also let office workers set up impromptu meetings in locations that don’t already have projectors available.
They are designed to be quick and easy to set up, with features like automatic keystone correction that save you from fiddling with controls after setting up in a new location. They’re great for conferences and visiting client locations, as they let you set up and present professionally, which always impresses clients.
Projectors in this category come with a range of capabilities at varying prices, so be sure to check the features that are important to you before buying. We recommend keeping an eye on brightness ratings and resolution because portability does require some sacrifice when it comes to the quality of the projector’s image.
Wearables – that is, technology that people can wear – can be said to be an evolution of the concept of smartphones and tablets, because they put smartphone-like capabilities on your body using small devices.
Smartwatches are the most common example of this sort of tech, but we’re also seeing “smart rings” hitting the market lately. These are rings packed with sensors and other mobile technology that can do things like monitor the body’s vitals, make digital payments, facilitate access control, and more.
The main benefit of wearables in the workplace is their ability to deliver real-time notifications, reminders, and updates to their wearers without a need to check smartphones or be near a computer. Other benefits include health monitoring, enhancing workplace safety, and they can even collect data that can be analysed and used by the business to improve office layouts and workflows. If employees can be convinced to opt-in to such a system that allows that sort of privacy invasion, that is.
Here’s another obvious one: Cloud computing. As much as you may be rolling your eyes right now, there’s no doubt that cloud computing is a game-changer for many businesses.
- No need to own, operate, or maintain your own servers? Check.
- Massive redundancy so you’ll never lose a byte of date? Check.
- Uptime guarantees of more than 99.9%? Check.
- Compliance with all of the new privacy laws and regulations? Check.
- Fees structured around the number of users you have? Check.
- No upfront costs and fast deployment times? Check and check.
- Datacentres in South Africa for the biggest cloud players? Check.
- Capabilities available even to small businesses, allowing them to punch well above their weight without incurring massive costs? Check.
And that’s just for starters.
If you’re not making use of the cloud’s many business applications (email, point of sale, accounting, storage to name a few), you’re missing out on lower costs and expanded business capabilities.
Using one or more of these technologies in your business is the smart way forward.
If you’re thinking about adopting any of these but you haven’t yet taken the plunge because you’re waiting for a sign, this is it: pull the trigger, take the plunge, and do all the things to get these technologies inside your business today.
Your future profits will thank you.