In my following blog, I will discuss the need for businesses to deploy non-financial technology solutions to enable our people to service our clients better and automate our business processes to increase productivity. For this week the question is, what other focus areas are there to consider? The answer: it really depends on your industry, business culture, size and location, but let me point out a few areas that I believe all businesses should at least consider, irrespective of industry or size.

  1. Relationship Management

Relationships are key to any business and therefore poses a huge risk if these relationships are not managed and tracked. This is the challenge and risk; should you lose an individual in your team, you lose valuable time trying to pick up the relationship if you don’t have any data or information to use as a starting point. I therefore am a huge fan of XRM (Anything Relationship Management) or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions and recommend that any business should consider using one. Check out Microsoft Dynamics 365 as a full blown XRM or if you want something basic and affordable, check out Zoho CRM.

  1. Collaboration

We are all overwhelmed with the number of emails we get every day and let’s be honest, it is a drag to collaborate using emails. Emails were never designed to replace group conversations but were designed to replace snail mail. Having group conversations in person are for most no longer an option as our teams are not all in one place, so electronic collaboration is critical. Luckily there are now collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Slack which have been designed for the new way of working and collaborating; it is quick and easy to use and very affordable. And free versions are on offer to start with. When we moved from emails to Microsoft Teams, it reduced my inbox by about 60%, allowing us to get to zero unread emails multiple times per week.

  1. Document Management

With rent per square meter increasing every year, very few businesses want to have a huge filing room, plus with a more mobile workforces that needs access to documents on the go, we can no longer afford not to have a proper electronic document management solution in place. The good news is that thanks to document management solutions being offered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution, any size of business can now afford a world class solution.

Microsoft is offering SharePoint solution as part of their Office365 licenses, and I strongly recommend that you consider this offering. It is critical that as businesses we become individual independent (not people independent) and I believe technology is the answer.

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