Take technology seriously

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Businesses have to take technology seriously. Some main things to consider are:

  1. Employ ExpertsToo many bosses take on too much power in the workplace. As the top dawg, they think it is down to them to make every decision for the good of the firm. If you’re one of these bosses, you need to think about taking a step back. For one thing, this ideology isn’t good for productivity and employee morale. From a tech perspective, it means the company is bound to choose the wrong software. As a novice, there is no way you know what to implement and what to avoid. Anyone that lacks the knowledge is in the same boat, which is why the decision shouldn’t be in your hands. Instead, it should be in the hands of an expert, someone that understands the industry. With their expertise, the firm can benefit from tech which will maximize its strengths. 
  2. Get On The Same Page: Even when you have a team of tech experts on the payroll you may not realize how much they can contribute to business questions. Consider bringing in the tech person to the next decision-making meeting. They may offer a different perspective or solution. Just listening to their opinions on the issues may make a difference. 
  3. Analyze The Criteria: Before anyone makes a decision, there are a plethora of criteria which needs evaluating. Some things are as simple as asking is it easy to integrate into the current servers? Some are harder like how do you balance the cost versus the benefits? Regardless of their difficulty, they all need answering before making a final decision. Firms that make mistakes do so because they end up guessing. Without a wealth of data, there is no way to come to an informed decision. There is too many to list in this post, so you will have to do your research. A tip: try to focus on the link between customers and mobile software. 
  4. Be Creative: Technology is like a resume in the sense that there is more to it than meets the eye. Sure, the qualifications on the page are essential, but they aren’t everything. Companies also have to consider the abstract features that aren’t on the piece of paper, like their character. Business technology is no different. The obvious will scream out to you, yet it can play with your mind. The secret is to think outside the box for the good of the firm. So, forget about reputation and branding and try and level the playing field. The best way to do that is to ask a simple question: which one benefits the firm and the customers the most? As long as the costs are low and the user experience high, it’s a no-brainer.
  5. Tailor Approach: A company has to deploy tech in a variety of different ways to make the workplace more productive. The bad thing about this task is the temptation to slip into one-size fits all policy. In fact, it’s more than a temptation, especially if one technique works the first time. You might look at it as a way to save time and money, but you’d be wrong. Yes, it would be easier to use the same approach for every installation. However, this tactic will bite you on the ass in the future. Technology isn’t flexible, which means it will crash with the slightest push. Therefore, you should work to make sure it has the perfect environment to succeed. Businesses with the best hit rates do this by considering the small variations and their importance.
  6. Test Drive: No one should buy a car without testing it beforehand. After all, there is no way to know what is under the hood. Technology is the same. Businesses that fudge their software deployment are the ones that shoot first and ask questions later. The reason this tactic doesn’t work is the risk factor. Without trying the product, how can you know if it is effective? There is no way to understand the inner workings of the software, or whether it merges with your current tech. All you know is that a talented salesperson sold it to you without having to answer any awkward questions. Well, awkward questions are an essential part of the process. Anyway, a ‘test drive’ is free, cost it doesn’t cost the firm.
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Tech-Related Services Your Business Shouldn’t Be Without

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Running a business is stressful enough as it is and by refusing to use different types of technology you may be making things harder on yourself than necessary. Technology can save you time and if used correctly can be efficient and versatile, so trying to run a business without computers is foolish. In addition to basic computer functions, consider the following as opportunities to save you time and stress. 

Cloud Storage
If you rely on hard drives to store all of your important business data such as software, customer information and marketing materials, then the last thing you want to happen is for your hard drives to fail and for all of your data to be lost. Many companies have some kind of redundancy storage solutions or off-site storage, but some businesses use cost-effective cloud storage instead. This allows you to work in the cloud (mostly) and your files will easily be accessible even if your office was to lose all of its computers overnight.

 

IT Consultant
Business owners should focus their efforts and resources on growing their business and developing new products and services. Leave the tech work to managed IT services and focus your efforts on areas of your business that help it grow. Hiring a consultant is less expensive and much more cost-effective than you might think, and they’re typically worth the investment.

 

Business Website
Business websites are extremely important. They act as your business’s front page, they are there for the sake of showing your customers and potential customers what your business is about, and it gives people a way to contact you. There are a few must-haves on your business website, such as an SSL certificate to ensure that customer information is safe, a good SEO strategy so that your website shows up on Google and a reliable web host so that your company website is always up and ready.

Online Storefront
In addition to your website, if you’re selling products and you want to reach a global audience, then an online storefront may help you achieve that goal. By combining product pictures and descriptions with an e-commerce platform, you can easily ship your products worldwide.

Four ways technology has changed business models

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Business is just one of the areas of life that have been totally transformed over the last few years in particular. Many companies don’t just rely on technology these days, they are totally co-dependent on it. Countless opportunities have now up that were simply never available in the past. 

Technology Leads Business
In the early days of computers, technology would aid already existing businesses. Advances like email made communication easier, while the first websites were created for companies already in existence. With the widespread success of the internet, tech-savvy entrepreneurs sensed an opportunity like no other. Now, many of the top performing companies in the world are based solely on technology, evolving at a rapid pace. Many businesses hire data center designers to create storage systems that act as their nerve center, and other firms specialize in particular areas of technology. Businesses now have to keep on top of any changes and be ready to move with the ever-changing times.

Increased Flexibility
Though the traditional 9 to 5 working day is still king for many companies, flexibility in working is essential for many modern businesses. With the advent of smartphones, employees have access to their emails wherever they are. This is a revolution that has been both celebrated and scorned. While the working day used to end at 5, many people find it harder to switch off from work knowing that they are contactable 24 hours a day. While technology continues to move apace, modern employment practices often struggle to keep up with this warp speed.

Distance Has Become A Minor Concern
The improvement in communication means that companies halfway across the world are able to do business much more easily. Skype conferences even make it seem like everyone is right there in the room. Employees no longer have to all be under the same roof, but instead are no longer restricted by distance. Again, this presents a challenge for traditional businesses as many employees are calling to work from home to have increased flexibility in their own lives.

Business Models Constantly Change
In the past, a business model could be printed in a textbook with very little need to be updated over the years. Now, they are constantly evolving. If a business is based solely on technology, sometimes the challenge can be to make sure they actually turn a profit. Many online businesses that we would think would be the most successful, struggle to turn their popularity into tangible financial success.

With signs that things are only starting to speed up even more, technology has provided endless opportunities, but challenges have also sprung up everywhere. Just like Darwin’s theory of natural selection, it will be a survival of the fittest and only those that continue to evolve will survive.

Don’t chase the wrong technology for your business

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

Your business might be highly successful, experienced and an expert in its given industry, but that’s a standard you have to work to keep up constantly and consistently. What works for you today won’t work for you tomorrow, which is why it’s vital that your keep up with market trends, including technological advances. Technology is always changing. If you’re using outdated gear, you might be working harder than necessary. 

Utilize only that technology which is relevant to your business.
This is an important starting point for your business. Rather than investing in technology for the sake of technology, and ending up with equipment that adds very little value or profit-making potential to your business – perhaps you and your employees aren’t even adept enough to use this technology – you should be investing in new technology which can directly impact your daily operations. Keeping things small and simple is the key here. Improving your company technologically to keep up with modern demands could mean something as simple as investing in new tablets or laptops which are more energy efficient. This ultimately saves you money in energy bills. 

Providing a better POS for customers.
If you run a physical store, customers expect certain standards of technology in this day and age. Why? Because technology equals speed. People want things fast and do not want to wait. If you can’t match competitors in the retail or restaurant industry, you’re going to be left with irritated and impatient customers. They expect speedy service in the modern age. Financing solutions such as Vyze are a great way to make use of a brand new technology which can ensure that all payments are quick.

Using cloud technology.
There’s a reason that everyone talks about cloud technology for years. Taking your company into the cloud, whether you’re a technological firm or a physical retail store, is one of the smartest business moves you could make in the present day, with regards to technology. This modern technology could save you huge amounts of money for all the profit it secures. Better yet, alongside saving money on a reduced amount of physical equipment, this will improve your business’ security. You can store your company’s sensitive data off-site, as a form of backup, should anything go wrong on the premises.

The employees you might not know you need

 

Pixabay - Coding

Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

While this list is geared toward employees you should have on board or have access to on an as needed basis for a tech startup, the list is a good one fo all companies, even solopreneurships. 

Developers
People often misunderstand what is meant when someone says they need a developer. They often believe that a developer is just another word for a programmer (or coder). In the tech world, a developer is often a programmer. But a programmer isn’t necessarily a developer. There are differences.

 

A programmer is handed a specification and writes the code you need accordingly. If you’re lucky, they’ll fix some bugs for you after the testing phase. But what you likely want is a developer. Someone who will help write specs. Who will write out automated test cases. Who can study the code that was in the system before they arrived and can work with or improve the current architecture. The problem here is that you can’t just go to a job website and look for developers “instead of” programmers. You need to assess applications as they come to you in order to verify their suitability to your business’s needs.

Tech support
When something goes wrong with the office tech you are likely looking for dedicated tech support if something goes wrong. Some business owners decide to work with tech support only when they’re needed, which may save you funds but also migh cost more over time. You can find full-time, part-time or freelance tech workers on sites like Valintry.

UX designer
This position remains one of the most underestimated positions. Most people couldn’t even tell you what they do, even if they know that “UX designer” means “user experience designer.” In fact, many people in the tech industry are user experience designers without really realizing this is what they do.

 

But nature, any designer of the interaction between your users and your product should be a UX designer. But the problem many businesses find is that a lot of designers don’t know as much about the UX philosophy as they should do. Hundreds of techniques are employed by the people who fully understand the way a user might interact with your product. Try to aim for a designer with explicit experience with UX work.