Talking Technology: How to Keep Your Business on the Cutting Edge
Sometimes, business owners can be hesitant to upgrade to the latest new technology, even if it would increase efficiency and improve profits. Call it the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset.
But failing to implement and utilize new technology can be short-sighted and dangerous. Companies that don’t stay on the technology cutting edge can quickly find themselves at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace. If technology upgrades are neglected for too long, companies may fall too far behind to recover.
Boosting Efficiency and Automation
Many technology tools are designed to help businesses increase efficiency by automating manual tasks. Accounting software is a good example — the latest programs enable automated reading, coding and allocation of invoices and receipts. Not only does this reduce the chance of errors, but it also boosts accounting efficiency, lowers costs and eliminates processing delays.
Some pundits believe that we’re nearing the point of “no-code accounting” in which manual data entry is no longer required. In this environment, automation and cloud accounting ecosystems eliminate the need for data entry. According to one industry estimate, cloud accounting software can automate between 80 percent and 90 percent of transactions that have traditionally been done manually.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, a is big part of this. While the Hollywood version of AI conjures up images of intelligent robots plotting to overthrow mankind, AI is really nothing more than machine learning that recognizes patterns and applies this recognition to solve problems.
In the future, AI could be applied to general ledger applications to analyze pending and historical transactions and thus predict future cash flow without the use of spreadsheets. Or it could analyze sales trends and suggest inventory purchases that help businesses maintain optimal inventory levels. The possibilities of automation and AI in business accounting are practically limitless.
Moving to the Cloud
The move to the cloud is a big part of many technology upgrades designed to improve business efficiency. Subscription-based cloud services like software as a service (or SAAS) help level the competitive playing field for small and mid-sized firms by providing them with access to advanced technologies that were previously only available to large corporations.
Mission-critical applications like customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and project and document management solutions are now readily available via the cloud. By taking advantage of cloud-based applications like these, your business can utilize the technology solutions you actually need without spending money on technology you don’t need.
Before the cloud, taking advantage of the latest and greatest business technology usually required investing in on-premises technology solutions. This meant buying servers, routers, software and hard drives and installing and maintaining them on your business premises.
Not only is this model expensive and inflexible, but it’s also not scalable. When business technology is accessed via the cloud instead, employees can access it anywhere, at any time and on any device. The result is greater efficiency and productivity, lower IT costs and improved operational agility.
Don’t Fall Behind
In today’s competitive environment, your business can’t afford to fall behind the technology curve. So make a commitment now to implement the latest tech tools needed to keep your business on the technology cutting edge.