Stay Current in the Changing Technological Landscape

Technology can be intimidating. The hardest part of integration is learning what a new piece of technology or service has to offer. Once you learn, you have a hard time imagining how you lived without it. Take a look at the six tips below for how to stay current in the changing technological landscape:

  1. Start Small – Some businesses have trouble embracing technology. I suggest they ‘start small’ by getting a free Dropbox account. Dropbox allocates a few gigabytes of space for free accounts and so does Google Drive. Setting up these accounts are as easy as setting up your email address. If this seems too big a leap for your business, start with personalized company emails. Not having your company name in your email address erodes your company’s credibility.
  2. Go Paperless – If you are utilizing software like Adobe and cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive, learn to use electronic signatures as they are valid for contracts. Instead of the three-step process of printing, signing and scanning, use an electronic signature like DocuSign to sign, date and return the document! Back up these electronic files in Dropbox or Carbonite and you have a decreased need for filing cabinets! Some documents may still need physical copies for compliance purposes but by using cloud storage, you can save a lot of trees and reduce the carbon footprint.
  3. Automate What You Can – Streamline and automate your processes to save time and manpower. Kabbage.com has automated their loan application process. They can service a customer’s loan request in a matter of minutes instead of weeks.
  4. Updated Teleconferencing – Recent changes in screen sharing software and video conferencing is essential to the new age of teleconferences. Virtual meetings happen every day by utilizing Google Hangout, GoToMeeting, WebEx or Skype. Your team is now productive without commuting headaches.
  5. Moving to the App Space – Most desktop software is available as an app for mobile use. On your cell phone, use DocuSign to create a .pdf document. You can upload that document to your Dropbox Mobile App to properly back up the document. Your sales team can use Salesforce’s mobile app to update and look up customer information without being in the office.
  6. Other easy mobile solutions.  Outlook gives you all-in-one email/calendaring/phone book access that syncs to your cell phone; you can deposit checks to your bank, use Twitter or Facebook when you attend events, check your train schedule, look up the nearest restaurants or gas stations, check the stock market, take pictures and listen to music – all from your cell phone!

Remember, you need to start somewhere if you want to stay current. There are plenty of online resources to help you, especially on YouTube, and never feel ashamed to tap into your vast network to ask for help.

Patrick Coughlin is a Senior Marketing Analyst at Consultants 2 Go.