Digital technology is constantly transforming the way we do business. One such technology is software and apps. Developers are finding new ways every day of saving businesses time and money by digitising mundane, difficult and time-consuming processes. Getting to grips with these apps and software could give you the edge over other businesses that are still lagging behind. Here are just a few ways digital programmes could boost your business.
Accounting can be the bane of many business owners. Even if you choose to hire an accountant, having a digital system to organise your finances is still important. Accounting software can automatically calculate tax and expenses for you, whilst also dealing with more complex financial processes more quickly than any human with a calculator could. With so many different types of accounting software out there on the market, it pays to do your research first. Some may be more suited to complex businesses than startups, whilst others may not be elaborate enough to deal with your business’s needs. Read reviews and take free trials to find the programme for you.
For complex projects, having all the information in one place can be useful, and what better way to do this than to download some form of project management software. This can help to organise what tasks people are doing, how projects are developing, the results so far and what is needed to improve these results. Many technicians will rely on a maintenance management system that can be used to measure how well a factory is producing output or how well a building project is coming along. A marketing company may want some form of project management software so that they can easily monitor the progress of campaigns for clients. There are even management software packages for software and app developers – helping to record bugs and corrections, as well as record progress.
Calendars and diaries
A paper diary or calendar can get lost and be less easy to share with team members. Most businesses have moved onto digital diaries as a result. The bulk of computers already have diary options, as do smartphones – preventing you from having to carry a bulky diary around. However, by opting for a more complex diary system you can create even more possibilities for your business. Some diary apps allow users to share diaries with one another, so if you need to check if someone is in a meeting before calling them, you can check their diary to find out. This allows a much smoother and easier sharing of information than was ever previously possible.
Apps and programmes have long tried to encourage businesses to go paperless. However, the inability to sign documents digitally created an obstacles – that is until now. There are now document signing apps that can greatly speed up processes. If you’re out of the office, you can get a client to sign a document on your tablet, and it will immediately be sent back the office where someone can process it. If two remote business owners both have the app, then the process of signing a contract that may have taken days before due to postage can now be completed in a matter of seconds.
Phone conversations and email exchanges can be limiting when talking to a new client or staff member, but meeting in person can involve expensive and time-consuming travel time. Video calling has helped to eliminate this problem, allowing businesses to hold face-to-face meetings with people on the opposite side of the world without having to leave the comfort of their office chair. Video conferences can be arranged so that multiple people can all be talking face-to-face at the same time. You can even give visual presentations to clients, give a new employee a virtual tour of your office or get someone to inspect your work. Its capabilities are still being explored making it an exciting new tool for any business owner wanting to make an impact.
Most of us already have firewalls and anti-virus software on our work PCs, but there are new and improved options available to business owners constantly being discovered. Disaster recovery software is the latest frontier, allowing you to backup all your programmes on the cloud and then, in the event of a digital attack such as a hack, your office system can be entirely shut down so that no information can be accessed, rerouting it all to the cloud. This can also be useful in the event of a fire or natural disaster – if the office is destroyed, your company can continue to run off the cloud. Once an expensive luxury affordable only to the biggest businesses, it has now become an affordable form of digital security for all businesses.
Amounts of data that were previously impossible to process can now be dealt with due to computer technology. Analytics programmes are able to automatically convert huge amounts of data into easy-to-understand graphs and charts. In marketing, this can be used to see who is visiting your website and who is buying your product – at what time and from where – so that you can better cater your marketing and product towards these people. In accountancy, analytics can be used to easily represent huge spending figures or volumes of sales in order to save costs. Insurance companies may use analytics to calculate risk, so that they know how much to charge a client. Analytics is still very much a frontier field and is thought to still carry many uses.
When it comes to keeping your workforce organised, HR software can greatly speed up the process and make things run more efficiently. Such software can more easily manage holiday and absence requests, help you to build complex weekly rotas and find the most cost-efficient way of organising your staff. This software is better for organising companies with large workforces, but can be used just as effectively on a small team. You can compare HR systems at TEC.