By the DynaSis Team
In his most recent article, “Technology Outcomes Every C-Level Executive Should Expect,” DynaSis Founder and President Dave Moorman details the three fundamental benefits of technology: increased productivity, reduced expenses and minimized risk. Dave does a great job of illustrating how technology achieves these goals, so for this article, we will just reiterate one truly vital productivity enhancer, and then give you the "freebies" we promised in the title.
Information technology (IT) has been helping employees and business owners execute tasks in half the time—or less—than it typically took them before PCs, the Internet and other major productivity enablers. That’s a given, so the question then becomes, how do they make that result even better? As Dave mentioned in his article, one of these enablers is availability, which is crucial to productivity in today’s business environment. If your systems are down all the time, it's a no-brainer that your productivity is being reduced. But, even the difference between 99% uptime (which sounds impressive to the uninformed) and 99.999% uptime is significant. (We covered this issue in more detail in our Availability blog, which you can read here to explore the topic further.)
At a 99% uptime level, you can expect 3.65 days of downtime per year. At 99.999%, you can anticipate 5.26 minutes. Of course, all that downtime might not occur during business hours, but if your business sells products or provides information online, or your employees work during off-hours or other time zones, your exposure increases significantly. Consequently, the easiest way for any business to increase productivity is to contract for the highest possible uptime, period.
Now, it's time for the freebies. Here are a few simple ways your business can start increasing productivity through technology without spending a dime.
Automated Reminders: Ensure all your employees know how to use their calendar appointment and reminder functions and encourage them to use them. These are helpful for more than business meetings. Every time an employee doesn’t stop what they are doing to accomplish a forgotten task on a rush basis, the result is increased productivity. Reminders are great for everything from prospect follow-ups to ordering supplies for the break room. They can also remind your personnel to leave the computer to move around, which might save their lives.
Once personnel start using reminders, they will see how valuable they can be. Encourage them to explore other systems and platforms that provide reminders—or allow advance scheduling of tasks—and make use of them, as well.
Get Smart: Rather than falling back on “I Don’t Know” as the answer to a question, or emailing other personnel and waiting for a response, encourage employees to perform Internet research first. If a question involves confidential company information, this might not work, but in most other cases, it will. If a salesperson is preparing a quote, for example, and needs to know the company's employee count or annual sales volume, they can likely find that information in five minutes, online. Writing targeted search queries to exclude irrelevant results takes a little practice, but there might be a search guru in your office that can teach others.
Leverage Other People’s Work
One of the most valuable aspects of technology is its ability to make solutions available to others inexpensively. From better financial tracking and management to faster presentation development with pre-built components, there are a multitude of “software as a service” (SaaS) programs that make your business efforts more productive—and in some cases, more impressive as well.
Many of these are inexpensive or even free. For faster, better presentations, for example, try Prezi, which offers a lot of content at no charge. For more ideas, check out this list of business-boosting technology tools from Inc.com.
DynaSis is an Atlanta IT services and cloud computing provider for small and midsized businesses. All of our solutions focus on helping companies achieve the three fundamental IT necessities of the modern business—availability, security and mobility. We specialize in on-demand and on-premise managed IT services, managed cloud infrastructure, desktops and backups, and professional hardware and equipment installation. For more information about DynaSis’ IT support and services, visit www.dynasis.com.