3 Tech And Automation Strategies Businesses Must Have Now To Stay Competitive, Profitable, And Thriving This Year
While the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted every aspect of life, it ushered in an era of doing things differently. For many, this has meant accelerating automation strategies and new technologies to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive business space.
While automation tech, including machine learning and artificial intelligence, has been around for some time, Covid-19 was the single event that fast-tracked its adoption. This is particularly true for startups and small establishments without the deep pockets of large organizations. Businesses must leverage automation technology for efficiency, cost reduction, and streamlined operations.
There’s no turning back with the new ways of doing business, and you might as well adapt to stay profitable and maintain growth. A whole heap of these changes is here to stay!
Here are three tech and automation strategies that your business must have to keep its head above the waters of an increasingly competitive market:
Warren Buffet has two rules for making money: the first, don’t lose money, and the second, don’t forget the first rule.
Spending money on cybersecurity protection is the least favorite for most business owners. After all, nobody thinks they’re at risk of an attack until they become victims, and it costs them an arm and a leg to salvage their business. Cyberattacks on businesses have increased in frequency in the wake of the pandemic, especially during the lockdowns. This was when droves were forced to embrace remote working with unsecured home Wi-Fi and other devices.
A Trend Micro Annual Cybersecurity report identified 16 million cyber threats in 2020 alone. Another report by Business Wire said that 81% of global organizations faced increased cyber threats, and 79% of them experienced downtimes. Whenever there is downtime and whenever there is a security event, it’s going to be costly to the business. Costly in the form of losing actual revenue due to the business losing the ability to operate, and costly in terms of having increased IT expenses to fix the cybersecurity mess.
But you can stop this loss of money by investing in adequate cybersecurity measures such as VPNs, firewalls, antimalware and antivirus software, application whitelisting, and many other security tools. Stop becoming the latest cyberattack victim who gets robbed blind and taken out. Have a plan in place and invest in the proper cybersecurity protection. If you need ideas on where to get started, check out our 15-ways to protect your business from cyberattack infographic. In addition, equip your employees with the necessary cybersecurity skills through regular cybersecurity awareness training.
Using Tech to Get More Effective with Fewer Staff
At the start of 2020, the US unemployment rate had been steadily declining to as much as under 3% from 10%. The Covid shutdowns briefly covered up the deficit. Fortunately, the shutdowns are behind us, but lingering issues remain. The labor shortage is crippling for businesses trying to pick up from wherever they left off or operate at full capacity. The issue isn’t only with finding the right people but also with the growing salary demands and other hiring costs.
So, what are businesses doing to circumvent this hurdle? They are implementing artificial intelligence and automated systems to compensate for the deficit and reduce labor costs.
New software is regularly becoming available with impressive capabilities that can help any business. For the most part, these new tools don’t necessarily eliminate the need for employees, but they can help a growing company continue to grow without hiring new employees, or they can help a company with no growth shave off a percentage of employees to help keep costs low.
Automation and AI-driven software are streamlining processes and getting more productivity for businesses.
For example, in our business, all departments (marketing, sales, admin, and service delivery teams) have implemented new software programs to help us get more done and deliver better service.
As one simple example, our support team recently implemented TimeZest. The main reason we implemented this was to allow customers the ability to schedule an appointment with one of our support engineers without having to talk to anyone or send emails back and forth. This has lightened the load of our support coordinator and is one way we’re able to support more clients with the same number of staff.
Systems like TimeZest and many other tools achieve efficiency and productivity by reducing the “paperwork” and the manual labor tasks that take up most of the working hours. We’ve grown without needing to increase the number of employees as we would 5 years ago.
Online Ordering and Fulfillment
With lockdowns and other restrictions, businesses had to adapt quickly or perish. There was no way in between. Online order fulfillment emerged, and those who embraced it thrived. For example, large brands such as Camping World, which were able to transition swiftly to online ordering and fulfillment, took an early lead against the competition.
Also, at this time, many restaurants started or increased online ordering and delivery. Some even became pickup-only establishments without indoor seating and service.
Even if you’re not an online retailer like Camping World or a restaurant, each business industry has so much new technology to help facilitate selling their products and fulfilling their services to their customers.
No matter what industry your business is in— big or small, new or old, B2B or B2C, there is AI-driven and process-based automation software and project management software that can help. There is a wide range of online tools like remote doctor visits, online self-serve scheduling, automated quoting, contract delivery, automatic payment collection (or at least online payment requests and collection) that are connected to your accounting software, document sharing, and on-demand video training. These software solutions can also automate all or a portion of your sales process and fulfill your products and services to your customers.
Businesses in any industry that doesn’t embrace the new way of doing business risk being permanently left behind and struggling to stay afloat.
As an entrepreneur, asking yourself how to add online, digital, or automated ordering and fulfillment is overdue. Embrace the technology available to help your business so that it is easier for your customers to do business with you and easier for you to deliver your products and services to them.
As you ponder investing in technology and automation (always keeping cyber security in mind 😉), book a consultation or call us to discuss your ideas or questions so we can help you implement new technology into your business.
About AZCOMP Technologies
AZCOMP Technologies of Mesa, AZ, is a leading provider of technology solutions and services for businesses of all sizes looking to automate their processes. AZCOMP’s mission is to help businesses to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase cybersecurity through innovative tech solutions.
AZCOMP Technologies has provided technology solutions and services to businesses since 2000. Our experienced and committed professionals spend most of their time working on clients’ computers and systems.
Contact us today for more information about our cybersecurity solutions in Phoenix.