Five ways technology can help your business become more flexible

March 16, 2022

Most businesses, small or large, need to be flexible. If the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that flexibility is essential for both survival and ongoing commercial success in a rapidly changing world.

Flexibility is important because it allows businesses to pivot when necessary. It means being able to change course quickly – and effectively – to take advantage of opportunities and respond to challenges. What works today might not work tomorrow, and companies that can’t adapt will quickly get left behind.

With more businesses entering the market every day, companies must be willing to change their strategies and tactics to stay ahead. If they don’t, they will likely lose customers to their competitors.

While larger organisations tend to be burdened with bureaucracy and red tape, smaller, more agile businesses can quickly adapt to changes in customer demand, technology, and the economy. This can be the difference between success and failure in today’s competitive marketplace.

Thankfully, technology has made it easier for businesses of all sizes to be more flexible. With cloud-based software and tools, they can quickly adapt their operations without having to invest in new infrastructure. And thanks to the boom in ecommerce and the growth of social media, businesses  can now reach a wider audience more quickly than ever before. 

How technology improves business flexibility

No matter what sector you’re in, technology is revolutionising how all businesses operate.

From streamlining workflows to enhancing teamwork and collaboration, many businesses are reaping a wide range of benefits.

As business technology continues to improve, it creates new opportunities to improve efficiency, productivity and, ultimately, profitability.

Here are five ways that technology is helping businesses become more flexible:

Anytime, anyplace, anywhere

Embracing cloud technology is one of the best things your business can do to become more flexible.

The cloud plays a significant role in helping businesses become more efficient by utilising their physical space better and reducing maintenance costs.

Keeping your organisation’s data in the cloud means you don’t need large on-premise servers taking up valuable workspace, which can instead be put to more productive use. It also means you won’t need to maintain an extensive on-site ICT infrastructure or face disruption when physical equipment fails or goes down.

With a cloud solution, you can host all your data on remote servers and access it from any device, anywhere in the world, via an internet connection.

This is a major asset in helping businesses work more efficiently and effectively.

It means you and your team can access any document or application they need, from wherever they are. If they work from home or remotely, as many people have been forced to do these past two years, they can access the same tools and documents they would at the office.

Better communication

Working from home came to more to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many businesses had to close their doors due to lockdown restrictions.

However, it’s a feature that looks set to stay, with many businesses and staff seeing the flexibility and other benefits that remote working brings.

While the flexibility that comes with remote working can help improve staff morale, enhance productivity, boost employee retention and help your people achieve a better work/life balance, it does present challenges.

For example, how do you keep your remote teams connected and ensure they can communicate effectively? After all, frequent interaction and communication is the key to improving teamwork, solving problems and keeping projects on track.

Again, this is where cloud tools can help.   

Thanks to the pandemic, there won’t be many people in the workplace who are not aware of videoconferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Many may also use instant messaging apps like Slack, Google Chat or Discord to stay connected with colleagues throughout the working day.

The key here is to look for a solution that works for you and your business, and then empower and trust your team to use it effectively.

Automated workflows

Like most organisations, there are probably many small – but crucial – repetitive tasks or processes that are resource-heavy and can slow your business down.

Technology can help you automate these manual tasks and processes, making them easier to manage, or eliminating them altogether.

Streamlining your processes and automating or removing the monotonous tasks your employees usually deal with can help your business reach new levels of productivity.

Automation helps reduce error rates while executing a high volume of repetitive tasks across multiple platforms. It can help free up many previously used resources, giving your employees more time to instead focus on the projects and outcomes that matter more to your business.

Improve staff engagement and retention

Flexible working plays a crucial role in keeping your staff engaged and motivated. It can help them achieve a better work/life balance and is an excellent way of attracting new talent and retaining existing staff. After all, a happy workforce is a productive one, right?

Technology is a great enabler for improving staff engagement and morale.

Tools like the aforementioned Zoom, Teams and Slack can help keep your staff connected throughout the day, from wherever they work.

And employee experience platforms like Microsoft Viva are a great way of monitoring your team’s wellbeing and fostering a workplace culture that empowers your people to perform at their best, from wherever they are working.

Improved project management

Making sure that your team stays on task and has a proper plan for accomplishing projects is essential for any business.

Finding the right project management software can provide the structure and organisation each project needs to stay on track.

Fortunately, Microsoft 365 comes with a host of in-built project management tools that help improve collaboration and help keep everyone involved in a project informed of exactly where it’s at. Many of these tools also integrate with each other. They make allocating tasks and monitoring progress easy.

They enable remote workers to accept tasks, notify others about who has committed to the work, alert everyone in the team when a job has been completed to keep the workflow moving, and store and organise project files to ensure teams are always working on the latest versions.

With SharePoint, you can set up a central place to manage your project, using task lists to capture actions, to-do lists and calendar features to handle events, and document storage to keep everything straight.

Microsoft Teams, meanwhile, can be used as the communications hub for each project you work on. You can use individual or group chat functions to keep your project team working smoothly. And each project can have its own ‘team’, with different channels, to give you greater control over who can see what and keep all communications relevant to a single project in the same place.

How can Quintech help?

As the technology landscape continues to evolve, businesses will need to adopt a more flexible approach to how they work. Many have already experienced first-hand the benefits that remote working can bring and have made it a significant part of their operations.

The key challenge is identifying and investing in the right technologies to facilitate more agile ways of working, getting the most out of these new platforms and using them to their full capabilities.

However, many businesses don’t have the in-house resource or expertise required to achieve the best results. That’s why working with a technology partner, such as Quintech, can pay dividends.

Our role is to ensure your IT serves your business in the best way, to help you reach your full potential.

We’ll work with you to assess your business needs and identify solutions like Microsoft 365 to solve them. We can also review your current IT infrastructure to see how it can be improved and where any potential cost savings could be made.

To find out more about how we can help your business achieve greater flexibility through  technology, please get in touch.