Driving efficiency in business through information technology



Last week we looked at navigating through technology-related change which highlighted when and how to integrate technology as a core activity. Today, we will consider how to drive efficiency thanks to information technology.


Over the years, the role of information technology has been transformed from being a “good to have” function within the workplace to a “need to incorporate” function. Companies are coming to terms with how technology can improve their processes and are investing in technology, a trend that has hugely increased especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. . However, the real question is, how is technology driving efficiency in business?


To understand how technology drives efficiency in business, let us examine some core functions of a business and see the impact of technology in these areas.


Communication

Communication refers to all forms of interaction between a business and its stakeholders, which may comprise customers, suppliers, employees and the community as a whole. Technology can drive efficiency in the following way:

  • Enhances real-time interaction through cloud-based video conferencing services like Teams, Zoom and Skype.

  • Provides room for versatility in terms of when and what medium to use to communicate and engage with staff and stakeholders. This provides a cost-effective management tool, saving time and money.

  • Improves interaction with customers. Artificial intelligence (AI) and bots assist customers in many ways.

Administration

This refers to the day-to-day activities and operations carried out by a company. Technology drives efficiency through:

  • Increased productivity through the use of collaborative tools like email and customer relationship management (CRM) software.

  • Automation: software such as Excel, Payroll systems and other accounting software automatically handle tasks that are monotonous and takes a long time to complete

Research and Development

Major decisions about the company's products and services, as well as their competitors, are based on the amount of data and information that is available. Problem-solving technology such as search engines, artificial intelligence and databases, have made it easy to carry out research, analyse and interpret data to improve decision-making.


Suppliers

Gone are the days when companies needed to invest in heavy resources on such as transportation and time to source materials and suppliers. The rise of 3D printing has helped manufacturing companies in cutting the cost of transportation by adapting a 3D model of a product. Technology has driven efficiency by:

  • Enabling video conferencing between companies and potential suppliers, thus reducing the carbon footprint and saving time.

  • Providing e-commerce site and social media platforms, such as Twitter and Instagram where suppliers and buyers can meet and transact business.

  • Enabling inventory management system to track products and stock.

Security

The increased level of competition has prompted the need for companies to be security conscious with confidential documents, proprietory information and trade secrets. Technology such as cloud storage and encryption has made it possible for companies to store documents and share encrypted files which may not be easily breached by external parties.


Customer service

As technology evolves, customers expect a higher level of interaction from companies/brands they patronise. Technology drives efficiency through the following:

  • Social media platforms: customers feel closer to companies that have an online footprint they can trace and interact with.

  • E-commerce: customers do not need to visit the physical location of companies in order to reach them as information about the company is available at the tip of their fingers.

In summary, companies that invest heavily in the right technology do not only experience growth but enjoy seamless operations. Technology has and will continue to evolve, hence companies need to be strategic and stay up to date with trends and innovation so as not to be left behind.


We at the OVAC Group can help you drive efficiency through technology. Please email us at enquiries@ovacgroup.com for a free consultation.