The world is undoubtedly within the grips of a digital age, and the technology we now take for granted is advancing at a rapid rate. For businesses around the world, this means if you don’t keep up, you will lose out. With the IT modern companies use daily at risk of becoming outdated in upcoming years, the relationship you adopt with what technology you use is crucial to the running of your enterprise. Not only do you need to be aware of changing trends in your particular industry, but you also need to be ready to embrace revolutionary solutions regardless of whether they were created for your niche or not.
Defining Modern IT
Understanding the term modern IT is a critical step in creating a relationship. Microsoft defines modern IT as having a few key aspects. These include multiple devices, cloud-managed applications, SaaS apps, automated processes, and being proactive. Additionally, modern IT is now incorporating advanced technologies such as AI and Blockchain.
Specifically, modern IT is an innovative way of delivering solutions and services to end-users, whether they are a corporation or a student at home. It encompasses device management and security, ensuring the pieces of tech used are safe, secure, and are seamlessly connected for ease of use. You can see it working smoothly within businesses who utilise the cloud. What’s more, it enables employees across the globe to collaborate on projects and documents from wherever they are.
The Essential Roles Modern IT Plays
IT is an integral part of any business in the 21st Century. From ensuring every member of the team is on the same page to communicating effectively with customers, modern IT plays essential roles in the daily processes. Whether you’re an e-commerce enterprise or a brick and mortar retail store, how you use technology can make or break your business. Below is an outline of the leading roles modern IT plays.
Without effective communication, a business runs the risk of alienating not only their customers but also their team members.
- Between Team Members: No longer do your staff have to be in the same office as each other to work effectively. With modern IT, team members who need to work on specific projects can do so via the world wide web. Additionally, there’s a range of communication applications which allow the discussion of ideas in real time, whether you’re in the same office, same city, or even the same country. For example, Skype is a very popular application which can be used on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet devices or smartphones. Likewise, Google Hangouts can allow team members to arrange meetings and share their screens to highlight critical aspects in a document or project.
- With Customers: Communication with customers is crucial, especially if there’s a problem with their order or delivery information. This is where email communications can play a huge role in completing this task. By sending a clear, defined email, you not only communicate the issue to the customer, but you also have a paper trail should any further problems arise.
- With Suppliers: Your business and your suppliers need to work in a harmonious partnership, and communication can make sure you do so. Again, email is a straightforward way to discuss issues, but video-conferencing is also highly useful as body language is easier to read this way without having to travel to each other’s offices.
One of the more critical roles modern IT plays is within the management of the business. However, the management doesn’t only apply to how you direct and deal with your employees. It also applies to your inventory, the data your business holds, and how you manage relationships with customers.
- Inventory Management: Without keeping a close eye on your inventory, you risk running out of products. Modern IT allows the tracking of your products to be seamless by enabling auto-ordering. Inventory management systems allow businesses to see the quantity of each item and can order additional stock when supplies run low. Inventory management systems, when teamed with point-of-sale systems, will ensure that whenever a product is sold, it’s removed from your inventory management.
- Data Management: Every business now uses a significant amount of data in its processes. No longer is this data held in a secure room, however. Data is held securely online, whether it’s a file on your internal systems or kept within the cloud. With modern IT, this data is viewable by every member of staff, should they be authorised to do so. What’s more, keeping data online only extends the amount you can hold as the cloud storage systems are scalable for your business needs.
- Customer Relationship Management: Should a customer call your customer service centre, your CRM allows the representative to access the customer records quickly to discover what the issue may be. Additionally, this call will be recorded within the CRM, meaning if the customer calls again, the details of the last conversation are viewable.
Marketing & Promotion
Digital marketing has changed the game for modern businesses. It’s broadened the reach of a company to serve not only their local area but the world. It’s especially helpful for e-commerce enterprises who solely operate online.
- Social Media: Social media is accessed by billions of people every day, with an estimated 3.02 billion users actively using the platforms by 2021. Whether you opt for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter, social media plays a massive role in making sure those who need to know about you, do. It’s also a relatively affordable marketing technique, with it being free to set up a business profile and promote your products and services via posts.
- SEO: SEO entails a range of techniques, including on-page, off-page, link building, content marketing and more. With Google being the world’s largest search engine, taking note of critical SEO methods and implementing them can boost your organic reach and help you climb the search engine results.
How Should Your Business Approach Relationships with Modern IT?
Your business needs to embrace modern IT to ensure you not only survive in the business world of today, but you thrive within it. How you do this, however, will depend on key aspects, including your industry and the size of your business. For a new start-up, using a portion of your budget to buy a significant amount of cloud storage may not be the best option. However, investing in CRM and social media marketing can open up a world of opportunities to forge relationships with brand new customers no matter where they are.
This relationship between business and modern IT, however, is only set to increase and grow in the future. Therefore, if you don’t jump on the IT train now, you will be left behind. A business which stagnates, fails.