By Kayla Matthews
While the rapid advance of technology is a boon to most business owners, others find it overwhelming, confusing and unnecessary. Adding to the confusion are workers who voice concerns over increasing automation, the increase of threats like viruses and malware, and next-gen systems that are too costly during their initial launch.
To ease the transition for these business owners, IT teams are turning to collaborative technology.
The Rise of Cobots
You’ve been hearing about robots for decades, but what about cobots? Instead of replacing human workers with AI-driven, fully autonomous machines, many business owners are embracing the modern cobot. Instead of working in opposition to your current staff or taking over their jobs entirely, cobots have one clear goal: to work with their human counterparts and strengthen productivity across the board.
It’s a winning situation for everyone involved. The majority of your roster will likely keep their jobs while your company benefits from the heightened productivity and efficiency that is only available through advanced hardware like cobots.
Software solutions are a dime-a-dozen, especially in the business sector. It’s sometimes difficult to separate legitimate apps and utilities from viruses or malware — but there are some highly useful programs available to today’s business owners.
One such program, Encircle, is meant specifically for modern enterprises and highly collaborative environments. According to recent case studies, organizations that use Encircle boast a 65 percent reduction in administration tasks, a 160 percent increase in reporting accuracy, a 250 percent increase in workplace efficiency and more.
There are plenty of applications to choose from, depending on your software needs. Other popular collaboration tools include Skype, SharePoint, Office 365, Yammer, OneDrive and many more.
The Internet of Things
Both the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are gaining a lot of momentum in the 21st century. While the latter is relevant in industrial professions — like manufacturing, construction, mining and fossil fuel production — the generalized IoT has tremendous potential to transform how business owners run their enterprises in the future.
According to top experts in the field, the IoT has four potential benefits for modern businesses, including:
- Greater operational efficiency
- Better customer service and an improved customer experience
- Decreased risk in everyday operations
- More business value through new services and programs
Business owners who want to make the most of the IoT will need to collaborate with a knowledgeable and experienced IT team, because the scope of the IoT is too large, complex and involved for one person.
New Marketing Initiatives
The newfound emphasis on collaborative tech is creating some new marketing initiatives, too. Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two methods that draw increased traffic to your website. In this case, SEO ensures your website is accessible via today’s search engines while SEM gives your site a higher rank in any search results.
For even greater effect, business owners turn to social media marketing. Today’s social media portals — including Facebook, LinkedIn and more — are the ideal platforms for testing out new marketing strategies, collaborating with partners and strengthening the overall customer experience.
How Collaborative Tech Benefits Everyone
Although the most obvious benefits of collaborative tech come to those on the frontlines, including IT officials, business owners and the modern workforce, greater collaboration on a professional level ultimately benefits us all.
Today’s customers can demand a level of personalization that wasn’t available five or 10 years ago, and owners can conduct business with their partners through high-definition video conferencing. It truly is a system that trickles down to benefit everyone involved.
About the Author: Kayla Matthews writes about communication and workplace productivity on her blog, Productivity Theory. Her work has also appeared on Talent Culture, MakeUseOf, The Muse and Fast Company.