From time to time, businesses of all sizes may find themselves stuck, as if they were in neutral. Employees might have the capacity and desire to take on greater challenges, but without a solid cloud infrastructure, they may not have the technology they need to get the job done efficiently. What are some of the aspects of technology that might be hindering a company from achieving its maximum potential? And how can a cloud business tap into employees' productivity by giving them the tools they need to succeed?
The following are three ways businesses can be negatively affected by outdated technology:
1. Legacy Business Applications Hamper Sales and Customer Service
As anyone who has ever managed legacy technology knows, there are moments when its creaking inability to fulfill basic business demands becomes painfully apparent. For example, a sales professional in the field who doesn't have access to cloud CRM from their tablet or laptop may not be able to answer a client's question and close the deal on the spot. Or, customer service representatives could be stymied by the influx of service requests they receive using a variety of communications channels from customers who have come to expect instant availability and rapid response. The inability to keep up with customer demands can be a drain on the business and the employees themselves.
High-performing employees want to do the very best job possible, and they feel frustrated when a solvable problem — such as technology — prevents them from delivering a win for the company. For this reason, cloud solutions can actually be considered both a workplace benefit that attracts and retains top talent and a productivity enabler that supports company growth.
Businesses have a great opportunity to make valuable strides in both these areas by providing employees with current, mobile-friendly, cloud-based technology that allows them to meet customer demands and be more productive. For some businesses, this might involve updating their CRM systems to ensure representatives can easily access customer information in the field. For others, it might entail updating a legacy phone or communications system to support the influx of customer service requests they receive over the phone, online chat, or text messaging.
2. Technology Doesn't Support Workplace Mobility or Flexibility
The workplace has become mobile, flexible, and always on, and it can support productivity in a wider range of ways than was ever possible before. Accordingly, business leaders must empower their employees to be productive at work, at home, and on the road. If they don't, they risk employee frustration, burnout, and possibly even employee turnover in the long term as talented staff leave the company for businesses where they feel they can succeed.
One way to avoid this scenario is by offering a bring-your-own-device policy that allows professionals to use their own personal devices to keep up with business emails, calls, and so on. Another is by offering a teleworking arrangement that gives employees a certain degree of independence and self-determination when it comes to getting the job done. Ultimately, any strategy that supports the modern workplace depends on equally modern technology solutions in order to be effective. Businesses should consider how cloud infrastructure solutions can be a valuable asset to the company in this regard. For example, a cloud-based unified communications system allows employees to easily collaborate with colleagues on-demand, from any location.
3. Technology Doesn't Enable Business Software Integration
Legacy technology, unwieldy and inflexible as it is, can block business progress in another area that is less immediately apparent. Not only are legacy systems rather unsupportive of the way people work and live today, but they also don't integrate well with other technologies — and there are future productivity costs there that businesses should keep in mind. For example, today's unified communications systems can integrate with today's CRM tools, leveraging the power of both platforms to enable even more enhanced workplace productivity by automatically logging sales calls.
As a result, employees can be more productive in their day-to-day work and more responsive to customer needs as well. Business software integration can help deliver a better technology ROI in the end, as businesses can leverage value not just from the individual platforms themselves but from the increased productivity that their integration provides the company.
Most legacy systems would either be unable to support such integration or they would require expensive and finicky customizations in order to make it possible. Such a barrier could prevent your business from achieving its long-term goals. Rather, it would be better to have a solid, reliable, flexible cloud-based platform in place that meets the company's current needs and opens the door to even more future technology improvements and enhancements.
Businesses have strong imperatives to keep technology up to date so they can remain viable and competitive. Technology modernization enables better productivity, which can deliver powerful benefits to the company on two fronts: increased customer satisfaction, which drives business growth, and increased employee satisfaction, which improves the retention of high-performing workers. Businesses that want to unlock their highest potentials should explore the valuable opportunities a cloud-based infrastructure can provide them now and in the future.
Does your business feel stuck? Contact a Vonage Business consultant to find out how to boost company-wide productivity through technology.