Futureproof Your Business | Technology and People

Futureproofing your organisation against upcoming challenges and obstacles is essential to protect your business interests and aid continued growth. By acting today for a brighter tomorrow for your business, you can protect against any threats or changes that come your way. You have a powerful tool at your fingertips to help you ready your business for the future in the form of technology, but are you using your IT to its full potential?  

This article is the first instalment in a three-part series exploring how changes made to your current IT practices and systems can support the triple bottom line of your business: people, planet and profit, for a prosperous future. 

People, both your customers, suppliers and employees alike, are integral to any business and make up a third of a company’s triple bottom line: people, planet, profit. Supporting, improving and advancing this bottom line is vital to ensure a successful business future. However, many companies fail to consider how technology can enhance these aspects of business to aid growth.  

 High-quality, fast, and efficient IT systems and equipment boost employee and customer satisfaction, improve lead generation and support better communication. Technology can also play an integral role in attracting and retaining talent for your organisation, as well as enhancing the role of HR in your business operations.  

Without the people who support your organisation, you would not have a business at all. Looking after your employees and customers is essential for business survival and future development. To futureproof your business, it is essential that you focus on the people behind the business, those putting in the work, yourself included, and those bringing in finance. 

But what can technology do to improve the experiences those people have with your business?   

IT Performance and Employee Satisfaction  

In 2022, investing in fast, efficient and reliable IT systems is essential in building and maintaining a productive, well-equipped and happy workforce, which in turn results in satisfied and therefore more valuable customers. The speed, efficiency and reliability of your technology is crucial. As a recent study conducted by Pegasystems into the desktop activity of operational support employees reveals, on average, a worker switches between 35 job-critical applications more than 1,100 times a day.  

If each of these application switches is delayed due to slow device or system speed, productivity of workers drops, and employee frustration rises. A study conducted by Sharp in 2017 denoted that, on average, employees lost 40 minutes each day due to slow technology and 38% of employees stated that modern technology would motivate them more. With the demand for data growing since that date, these figures are likely to have risen to new heights.  

Bandicoot calculated the cost of this slow computer time for an average company, resulting in their findings that a company could lose £2,175 per employee per year if slow computer time cost their workers 40 minutes a day. They also highlighted the frustration felt by staff because of slow devices: “Staff can become accustomed to slow-running computers, but this doesn’t mean that they like putting up with them... frustration fuels discontent and saps motivation.”  

By enhancing your IT system, you can boost staff productivity and satisfaction for a healthier workforce and futureproof your business. As stated by SurveyMonkey, “a positive work culture encourages employee friendships, improves personal well-being and ultimately benefits your bottom line.” Similarly, Oxford University found that happy workers are 13% more productive.  

Therefore, by ensuring employee satisfaction, you can boost the productivity of your overall business which is essential for continued development. Slow technology has been directly linked to employee discontentment and so by ensuring that your technology works for your staff and customers alike, you can not only retain talent, but boost the productivity and the profit of your organisation. 

IT Performance and Customer Satisfaction 

Delivering outstanding customer service is no longer a matter of choice, in 2022 it is an expectation.  

Great customer service is vital because it retains customers and builds relationships that enhance the commercial value of your business. It is no secret that customer retention is cheaper and quicker than customer acquisition and has a significant impact on profits. 

Providing first-class customer service requires futureproofed technology that enables your business to have instant, accurate and secure access to relevant information that a potential or existing client requires. Unsurprisingly, if your technology is not up to speed, your business is likely to lose customers and lead generation opportunities as customers get frustrated with waiting.  

Customer service teams depend on applications such as live chat to interact with clients and, in turn, clients expect a trouble-free service. Such applications rely on your IT infrastructure, and it is critical that these applications are completely reliable and run as fast as possible. A customer service team’s ability to almost immediately access information clients require will ensure the best customer experience possible. 

Speeding up technology through component level upgrades is a fantastic way to retain customer satisfaction when interacting with your business digitally. By improving and upgrading the components within your server that hosts your website or software files, your customers receive a higher level of customer service and satisfaction from your business. Considering faster technology components, such as NVMe SSDs, for your IT system is essential for boosted device performance and capabilities. Find out more about what NVMe is and what it can do for your business here.  

Enhanced Communication  

Communication is as natural as eating, breathing and sleeping. Every day we wake up and communicate with potentially hundreds of different people, either face to face or digitally. So, it is no surprise that effective communication is an integral part of any successful business model, and it must be supported and developed to ensure business growth.  

As explored by Management Study Guide, “communication plays a crucial role in employee satisfaction” Positive face-to-face communication between employees, and management and employees, is the backbone of any successful business. However, this becomes trickier when companies have offices and facilities spread around the country, continent or world or in the case of a global pandemic at home with restricted contact in office environments. To support communication on this level, an effective IT system is a must.  

During the pandemic, we saw an incredible shift across businesses globally towards a remote working model. As a result, the technology sector boomed to support this change with infrastructure and devices to provide and maintain effective communication between teams, and with customers. However, as teams grow and the data that needs to be shared between them expands, increasingly powerful technology is needed. Without a high-quality server network, good communication between employees and with customers is difficult and business operations can become strained, stunting growth.  

Your technology needs to not only support effective communication in the form of hosting online meetings, emails and messages but also in terms of sharing files. Sharing and hosting files between teams, across different facilities and even with your wider customer audience, requires adequate compute power. If your technology is not able to support effective and efficient data transfer and hosting, your business will suffer.  

Therefore, increasing the speed, capacity and capabilities of your server and networking infrastructure now is the smart choice for unhindered business communication and ultimately business development. Making sure your IT system is up to speed, in this sense, can bolster professional relationships and commercial operations for a more communicative and people-centric business model.  

Attracting and Retaining Talent 

When deciding to pursue or accept a job, candidates will weigh up several factors, such as job requirements, location, benefits and salary. In recruiting and retaining staff, your goal is almost certainly to focus on attracting and keeping the top talent. It is widely recognised that the best candidates look for companies whose core values are aligned with theirs. This means that by aligning your technology with meaningful values, such as sustainability goals, social responsibility and professional development, you can attract and keep talent within your business. 

Recent research has uncovered that nearly 70% of employees say they would not work for a company without a strong purpose. Plus, a further 60% would take a pay cut to work at a purpose-driven company. This shows that employers should make their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) messaging clear to attract and retain skilled employees. 

Referrals are often an effective method of recruiting new team members. Research shows that 92% of employees who work at a company with a strong sense of purpose, report they would be more likely to recommend their employer to those in their network looking for a job 

Taking all the above into consideration, to help futureproof your business, you must put in place the technology that helps to foster an environment where effective and productive communication between individuals, departments and customers is assured, and one that employees are proud to advocate. 

Technology and your Workforce 

Creating an environment in which your workforce and customers enjoy working and interacting with your business is bolstered through a progressive IT system. By improving the speed, supporting server networking capabilities and establishing a more sustainable IT system, you can improve the people aspect of your triple bottom line.  

People are the force behind every organisation and adopting an IT system that supports them is an essential practice of successful business.  

In the second instalment of our Futureproofing Your Business series we explore how technology can bolster your positive and reduce your negative impact on the planet. Find out more about sustainability and technology here.