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article imageOp-Ed: For online business, technology is here to stay

By Anna Johansson     Aug 29, 2013 in Business
Technology is becoming increasingly pervasive in every facet of people's lives, but none more so than business; however, dealing with technology can still prove to be a problem.
In the world of business, technology is the game changer. It has the potential to make companies more competitive and capable of delivering better customer service. It can also create a more effective sales force; cost-saving measures and revolutionary ideas can be generated.
Return on Investment, or ROI, is a term thrown around in business, especially when weighing the pros and cons of implementing new technology. Distilling the cost savings or benefits into a single number can be challenging, especially when many of the benefits are not metric-based.
This is the bane of every operations director. Yet the fact remains that IT is an integral part of business and has the power to gain market share for a company. Here's a general guide to technology in business.
Flexibility
Growing pains in business can cause a small- or medium-sized company to falter when success leads to fast growth. Often, the infrastructure can't accommodate fast growth.
Whether it is efficiently filling a higher volume of orders or meeting the service needs for a larger customer base, half the battle is having applications and systems in place to keep up. Then there's the need to keep up with the ever-changing demands of consumers for not only online shopping experiences, but apps and mobile sites to shop from anywhere.
IT can meet that these and many other needs.
Thanks to cloud technologies, hosting, and SaaS (software as a service) solutions, organizations can scale to meet demands quickly. Companies need not be tied to massive server rooms or device-based software installations thanks to solution providers like Singlehop.
Given the ability to purchase infrastructure and software as a service (as well as IT support), businesses are able to quickly and more economically scale to their business needs. When companies are able to manage and maneuver the growing complexities and demands of their organization successfully, it can turn a potential growth inhibitor into a growth opportunity.
Necessity
Brick and mortar establishments are still part of the business world, but they can no longer be the only way business is conducted. An online presence, mobile site, perhaps an app are bringing companies into the 21st century of consumer behavior. Even organizations who operate at a smaller scale understand the necessity for technology to make their business successful. And they understand the business sense in upgrading technology as well.
According to Spiceworks co-founder and VP of marketing, Jay Hallberg, "Companies see that IT is critical to their future [...] They're still looking to stretch out the life of their existing equipment and looking at what they can easily upgrade, like storage and RAM. But once a machine becomes 4 or 5 years old, it makes sense to junk it and get a new one."
Take away
At the tip of the iceberg, we communicate, shop, and conduct business transactions via the internet. Many of us even pay our taxes online. The world this opens up for software, security needs, and a similar call for an increasingly tech savvy workforce. Which is another need that companies such as Singlehop fill.
Turning to a third party to meet IT needs can be an extremely savvy move. It is well known that technology moves, changes, and develops quickly. Sometimes there's a payoff in keeping up with the latest and greatest, sometimes there isn't.
Arrange to have an industry or subject matter expert on hand to outline benefits and total cost of ownership, or even provide suggestions on meeting both budget and IT needs with cloud or hosted solutions. And, depending on the business, there may be compliance and education considerations that need to be met through technology as well.
The lesson? Technology is here to stay. Befriend it, ask the experts, and invest wisely.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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