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How To Choose The Right Technology Solutions For Your Business

No matter what kind of business you run or what you need to accomplish, there are most likely tech salutations available to help you do it. From managing your money to managing a team spread across the globe, there is little tech can’t help you accomplish. The problem, however, is ensuring you have the right tech to do what you need to do. In some cases, having the wrong tech can actually hamper your business and make you less effective rather than more. Here are 4 things to consider to help you get the right technology solutions for your business.

Standalone vs. Suites 

Productivity suites can be expensive, but they are also designed to offer product integration both within the suite itself and with a number of other products. In some cases an office suite such as Office 365 or G-suite may offer you all the productivity tools you need in one streamlined package. If you already use an industry specific program such as Salesforce for your business, however, you might consider supplementing it with other standalone programs you need like Trello or Avaza for project management.

Standalone solutions, however, offer you the ability to pay for the services you need most and use free options where you can. The size and complex needs of your business will go a long way towards determining which one is right for you. Many suite services also offer pricing suitable for small businesses, so you can have the best of both worlds.

Integration 

One of the benefits of using software suites is that they tend to integrate seamlessly with each other. More and more standalone programs are now being designed the same way. For instance, Square receipts can now be integrated directly with Quickbooks, where they can be analyzed Bison Analytics to offer you intelligent business insights.

Even when you are choosing standalone programs, apps and platforms, you need to ensure they work smoothly and seamlessly with all the other programs, apps and platforms you need to do your business. Sometimes, choosing a program that has a few less features or doesn’t have exactly the features you enjoy most can be preferable to having to double – or even triple – enter information.

Platforms 

There is no doubt the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model is on the rise. The drawback, of course, is that personal devices tend to be less secure than business devices and you have less control over them or how your employees use them. The benefit, of course, is that allowing your employees to use their own devices for work not only allows them to work on the devices they love the most, it can save you a great deal of money. Instead of having to provide employees with a laptop, cell phone and tablet, you may only need to provide them with a desktop and allow them to use their own laptop, tablet or cell phone if they so choose.

Conversely, however, what you need to consider when offering BYOD options is what platforms the software you are using works on. For instance, some programs only work on PC/ Android while others are only for Mac/ iOS. Some are only supported on Firefox or Chrome, while others are only available on Safari. If you force all of your employees to work on the same type of computer and platform, you can avoid the headache of device compatibility. On the other hand, forcing employees to use office computers can just create a headache of a different kind. The unhappy employee kind.

Departmental needs vs. Business Needs 

One of the difficulties for most businesses is that every department will have its own needs or type of software it wants to use, but you still need to function as one cohesive business. While you want to give each department the tools that it needs to do their job efficiently, you also have to consider the needs of the entire company. This is particularly important for small businesses or startups.

When your business is small, it can be easy to just let everyone kind of do their own thing or use their own preferred program or software. As your business grows, however, and those individuals become departments that all have to work and function together as one unit, those breakdowns can become chaos. One workaround for this is to use customizable software such as Salesforce or create your own applications in Microsoft Access for your core business needs and let each department use their own communication and productivity apps such as Slack, Skype for Business, Asana or Basecamp.

Final Word

Finding the right technology solutions for your business might not only be a juggling act, it might be a never ending one. As much as no one really likes this analogy, the truth is, running a business is a lot like being a parent. You have a lot of different people to manage that all have different needs and all want to be kept happy. Always keep in mind, however, there is a fine line between keeping your employees happy and giving them the tools they need to do their very best work. In some cases, the tools they need may not necessarily be the tools they want – and that is okay. As an employer, your job is not to make them happy, it’s to help them give their very best.


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Heather Redding
Heather Redding
HEATHER is a tech enthusiast and freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. When she isn’t working, Heather loves to read and swim. She is also a coffee snob with a passion for photography. You can reach Heather via her social media links below.

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