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5 ways IT can help future-proof your business

28/10/16

Digital transformation is one of the key trends in business today. Technology is moving forward at such a rapid pace that businesses are faced with two choices: innovate and keep up or move slowly and lag behind.

It’s clear which of these two paths a business should take, but it’s not always that simple. With growing demands from customers and the tech landscape set to remain in a continued state of flux, business leaders need to take a holistic approach in order to prepare for the future.

Future-proofing your company means building your business around the needs of your employees – (as well as your customers). Fast forward to 2020 and the new generation of recruits will have a new set of demands and expectations.

Here are five ways you can use technology to prepare your company for what lies ahead.

Flexible and virtual as standard

Flexible working is already high on the list of preferred benefits for employees. By 2020, the majority of the workforce will be located in different areas, relying on various forms of technology for communication. We will also see a rise in virtual offices, rather than physical office spaces. Companies will need to adopt a positive attitude towards the idea of flexible working if they want to attract the best talent.

A cross-company approach

According to Infomentum’s Beyond Digital report, 84% of employees believe that digital transformation in 2020 will be held back by a lack of cross-department co-ordination1. Businesses must take a holistic approach when it comes to rolling out new technologies. Much of this responsibility lies with the IT department who play a vital role in managing the technology, but it also relies on creating an over-arching strategy that incorporates the needs of all stakeholders. The technology has to match the strategy – not the other way round.

It’s mobile first, starting now

With mobile as our official device of choice, companies need to take a mobile-first approach to how they do business. According to the Mobility Report from Ericsson, there will be 6.1 billion smartphone users around the world by 2020, accounting for 80% of all mobile data traffic2. Businesses need to get internal and external touch points ready for the mobile revolution. The more a company integrates mobile into their core strategy, the more confidently they can progress in the mobile age.

Tech is streamlined and clutter free

The 2020 employee will be tech-driven and demand his or her workplace has the same ethos. Outdated office equipment, websites and databases are not going to attract or inspire this new generation of workers, but business leaders need to do more than simply invest in new technology. They need to take a joined-up view of what the business needs to achieve and then decide on the appropriate technology that will assist that strategy. There will always be new trends in technology, the secret is identifying which of those trends can take a business to the next level.

Be smart with innovation

Never innovate for innovation’s sake. Every company has access to huge volumes of data which can be used to make informed decisions. With a little help from the cloud, businesses can test innovative new ideas before scaling them up for company-wide roll-out. This is a smarter way of developing new ways of working, saving time and money in the process. Innovation requires a continuous cycle of planning, developing and analysing to ensure than each innovation is finely-tuned to a company’s vision, culture and strategy.

Is your business ready for the 2020 employee?

Businesses and IT departments need to view the changes that lie ahead as opportunities rather than threats. The more a business is willing to adapt and change, the better placed they will be to secure the next generation of employees and customers.

Technological change has meant businesses need to rethink the way they do business. Are you doing enough to future-proof your business?

Read our related article: Why is IT performance management now an essential part of business?

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