Technology integration in 2022 is the alignment of broad technology resources – servers, the cloud, computers, mobile devices, social media, software applications, networking and the like – to execute business strategies and remain competitive.
Years ago, small businesses kept separate technology for distinct purposes and rarely integrated them. Think of the fax machine, the [land line] telephone and pagers. Today, businesses of all sizes see the benefit of integrated systems and the efficiency they can inject into workflow, business operations and growth.
Small businesses across the country are now choosing to refine the technology they use and make investments based on the synergy those technology purchases can lend to the business. While technology integration is a natural evolution of business practice, the pandemic increased the velocity of integration potential and shaped how vendors develop, market and sell their products.
Just what are the practical benefits small businesses are looking to capture as they increase the integration of their technology resources.
Below are some of the most popular.
Improved Business Agility
If the pandemic taught the world anything, it’s the need to remain flexible, adaptable to change and resilient in the face of new challenges. Technology integration allows small businesses to remain agile and quick to respond to change. Integration leads to increased collaboration among teams, especially when team members work in disparate locations or on hybrid office schedules.
Improved Staff Coordination and Collaboration
Improving efficiency and keeping seamless operations, including customer service, was the primary goal of most small businesses as the pandemic unfolded in 2020. Innovative technology like Zoom, Google’s G-Suite, Microsoft Teams and others allowed small businesses to connect their employees, organize their work and continue from home. As the pandemic eased, many of these practices stayed in place, a testament to their effectiveness.
Improved Data Security
Technology integration helps small businesses better protect their employees, network and information, including client information. Network security threats are at an all-time high, costing the average small business approximately $3.92 million in damages.
When technology products are integrated it’s easier to supply holistic cybersecurity safeguards that protect the business, allow macro monitoring and alerts.
Improved Customer Experience
Attending to customer needs is more important than ever. As big companies like Amazon continue catering to customer needs with services like same-day delivery, free shipping and free returns, small businesses must keep up in their own way. Integrating technology tools, such as an intuitive website, chat functionality, and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) phones that find business representatives anywhere help streamline operations on the first point of contact with potential clients. Automated tools can enable customers to book appointments. These technology integrations build consumer trust and brand image.
Increased Revenue Streams
Technology integration allows small businesses to generate new revenue sources. The creation of e-commerce stores that are linked to supply enables a small business to target a broader customer base and run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2021, consumers spent over $601.75 billion with U.S. online merchants, up 14% over 2020.
That’s a lot of money available for small businesses to capture, all with the help of technology integration that allows expanded business offerings and brand recognition.
Increased Financial Savings
Increasingly small businesses are adopting Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), outsourcing their IT service and support to Managed Service Providers. This model saves a business money by paying for service and support when it’s needed and usually with a broader range of technology ability than a single IT employee can provide. Communication solutions such as video conferencing and VOIP enable businesses to save on travel costs and accommodation. Cloud services reduce data storage costs. Automation reduces the need for surplus staff, saving on labor costs.
There are endless possibilities for small enterprises to enhance their IT blueprint through technology integration. These popular benefits barely scratch the surface on the potential of adopting technology solutions for small business.
Roark Tech Services is well positioned to help any small business expand their technology integration and capture the benefits of holistic technology management. We have been experts in the field since 1998.
If you don’t have an IT Partner that you can trust to give you the right support and advice, we’d love to help. Contact Us!