Best strategies for updating office technology
The development of technology has galloped ahead in recent times, and it’s obvious that as individuals we are quite good at getting excited about the next must-have gadget, rushing out to find smartwatches or smartglasses as fast as possible. However, when it comes to organizing the workplace, there is not the same sense of urgency attached to upgrading systems and equipment, even though doing so has been demonstrated to improve efficiency and promote growth. With so much available to improve your workplace productivity and efficiency, ignoring new technologies is surely a recipe for failure. Here are a few examples of areas to consider if you decide to conduct a technology audit at the office.
Evaluating business functions
Some office functions may be similar across a range of different types of businesses, and may include the requirement for accounting systems, document production, or preparation of displays and presentations, while others will be more specialized and geared to a specific sector. Finance is a good example as the way in which the exchanges such as Wall Street work is very different to how your friendly, local branch of a bank is managed and run: their functions, operations, and therefore their technology needs are simply not identical. If you start by making a list of the various tasks that have to be achieved, by whom, and what the system timeframe is, then you can turn this into a workflow chart that will help you see quickly and easily which areas need attention.
Today, managers are turning from the traditional PowerPoint model that requires a computer desk or laptop to the portable projector; you can view, assess, and purchase these online. These are digital projectors with crystal-clear pictures and audio capabilities, so you can use them for animated as well as still presentations and for screening movies and videos. They have multiple connectivity, so they can be adapted to fit many different types of systems – ideal tools for office training courses, presentations to clients, and for use in meeting rooms. Check out the variety of brands and what their specifications are at www.for-sale.in/portable-projector.
Despite the rise and rise of cloud computing and the ability to exchange, contribute to and edit documents electronically, most offices still have a requirement to produce printed scans or copies at some point. If your office is still using a photocopier, you may want to analyze whether you should reconsider your strategy. You could switch to a multifunction printer or standalone scanners and printers – this will depend on the quality and volume of printing, the speed at which you need the equipment to deliver, the space you can spare, and how you feel about investing in consumables such as toners or ink. There are plenty of high-quality machines on the market from brands such as Canon and Xerox.
Getting it right
Both these examples demonstrate how the ability to choose the correct technology solutions is about carefully considering your workplace systems and requirements before making decisions. One important feature is getting a good financial deal, and browsing online is a great way of assessing which pieces of equipment, and indeed compatible software, are getting good reviews from others. There are lots of bloggers specializing in tech who will compare leading products regularly and happily give you their opinions. Some sites rank these, and names that come up frequently include InsideTech, Gizmodo and Mashable. Purchasing online is also often the best way to get a good deal.
When hardware is being upgraded, it’s important that everyone in your workplace is comfortable with and understands the new machinery – and this is particularly crucial if you are also introducing new software, including changing operating systems or updating to cloud computing. In most cases, businesses tend to enlist the help of a skilled IT team to do any installation work as this provides them with insurance that any problems will be put right, and often such teams also offer training support for office staff if needed. Depending on the changes being made, data transfers from old to new equipment and systems may be needed. This may be a substantial task, depending on the size and scale of work of the organization, so getting professional help can be a bonus.
Software changes are nearly always a part of upgrading your office technology. Introducing new operating systems, such as switching from Windows to Mac, can be very beneficial if your staff team will then be equipped for mobile working. If you are changing systems to make them compatible with, say, iPads and iPhones, this will help you coordinate better staff contact and communication in the future.
Changing to cloud computing
Updating to cloud computing is having an important impact on office technology, allowing improved communication in real time between office workers in different locations and multiple sharing of vital information and documents. Storing data in the cloud means that it can be retrieved by all those who have the correct permissions on a variety of devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktops. If you decide to look for a cloud computing provider, consider what it is you want them to deliver. Broadly, the options are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which is the most basic model; Platform as a Service (PaaS), which delivers a computing platform and operating system; and Software as a Service (SaaS), which is the most comprehensive model most often chosen by businesses.
Take your people along with you
When making your decisions, it pays to be mindful of the impact this will have on your office workers. It’s worth remembering that staff members are often very wary of IT change. This may be because they are worried that they won’t understand any new requirements, or won’t be able to do their jobs correctly following the changes. In fact, it’s worth putting a lot of emphasis on getting their training right so that they’re comfortable and able to adjust well. A happy workforce is generally a more productive one.