The Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to take unprecedented action to continue operating in atypical circumstances. It’s reshaped every industry, and the future promises change in client demands, trends and the way companies might better prepare for “black swan” events.
We spoke with respected law firms, top UK tech startups, agencies and businesses within a variety of industries, and the challenges and strategies on both sides of the spectrum: some will continue operating as they’ve always done, whilst the digital-friendly companies will evolve closer to a tech-focussed strategy.
Through our research, we identified four key areas that companies which lack digitisation will need to focus on:
Following a series of interviews and research, initial data shows that companies that tackled these and other challenges with technology gained advantage over their competitors by winning new business and retaining existing clients.
Data reports are a necessary evil in the business world. Necessary because they are needed to generate insights for future optimisation, evil because they are often produced manually. Writing data reports without technological aid is no easy task when the results must be clear, accurate, and as up to date as possible. Luckily, business intelligence is going through a revolution, and innovative reporting tools are on the rise, amongst these, system integration.
System integration is the process concerned with joining different subsystems together as one large system. It’s based on data warehousing and data mining systems, and it’s the key to producing data reports from large datasets.
Real-time visibility allows you to make a decision based on accurate, updated data. Reports on performance across sales, finances and service departments are all held in one place, saving you the time it would take to acquire this information manually.
Efficiency. Automating processes, including automated reporting, keeps everybody in the loop, increases employees’ productivity, and saves you having to hire additional resources for tasks that can be accomplished with Artificial Intelligence.
Remain competitive. By meeting the needs of your customers and handling business processes better, system integration puts a business at a competitive advantage.
At Purr, system integration forms a big part of what we do. Although linking together your internal and cloud systems can sound like the best choice, it’s important to note that there is no “standard” system integration – this is entirely dependent on your business needs and setup.
2. DATA MANAGEMENT
Although once hailed king of business processes, spreadsheets are putting businesses at financial and reputational risk.
Spreadsheet data is often not accurate, can’t generate internal reports, nor is it scalable. Yet studies show that over thirty-five per cent of finance and accounting departments regularly use them. Why? Because it’s the quickest and easiest choice, and seemingly low-risk.
But that’s a distorted view: the truth is that as a business grows, so do the responsibilities and deadlines. You need as small a margin of error as possible, which means you need to standardise procedures, and the best way to do this is by adopting software-based practice management.
Considering the scalability and storage of business data should be an aspect of every role and should not be met with apprehension. As opposed to operating on spreadsheets, working with a cloud-based “master system” can make it easier for employees to see, share, and act on data, making the workplace a more efficient, innovative environment.
Forty-six per cent of executives see management software as an essential initiative over the coming years, and here’s why:
Cloud-based software updates records immediately for all users and in doing so, reduce error
Scope, resources, time, and cost can be streamlined in one approach
Smaller tasks are taken care of efficiently, leaving teams more time to focus on core operations
Project Management software programs are at your disposal, and although they have standard features, they also have unique tools. Pinpointing your business’ needs is important when choosing what software to use.
3. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Remember the drama of accidentally saving a file to the wrong folder and then having to navigate a sea of little yellow icons in a never-ending quest for the “I-swear-it’s-not-lost” document?
Yep, we’ve all been there.
The switch to cloud services is on the rise, but seventy-five per cent of businesses still rely on data from local servers. They are easier to upkeep, offer better security (no access to third-party websites) and give you physical control over your backup. But as some businesses have been forced to learn, unprecedented events sometimes require employees to access data from anywhere, at any time.
The current world situation has forced businesses to set up “virtual” offices. Some of these (especially the ones that don’t have a long-term lease with their office space) won’t have a physical office at all.
For this reason, storing data on the cloud will give an advantage to those businesses that want to move to a permanent remote or semi-remote setup:
No more data loss. Changes in the cloud save instantly. It also allows users to roll back to different versions of a document, both at the convenience and ease of the user and the IT department
Universal access. Perhaps the most important element given the circumstances, the ability to use files from anywhere gives employees flexibility. Collaboration and peer review can be done by multiple users at the same time, resulting in higher efficiency. Of course, this all comes at the expense of a fast internet connection or an internet connection at all
Scalability. You either only pay for the storage you need, or you have unlimited amounts which save you the cost of having to purchase or rent another server.
Transitioning to a paper-free and fully digital environment doesn’t mean it has to happen all at once – you need to have a strategy in place, and then apply it bit by bit. In a marketplace that’s looking towards virtual offices and semi-remote setups companies have the need to evolve and do things in a different way.
We believe digital means more than just Marketing and look forward to the new opportunities that this will bring.
Get in touch
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London EC2A 4NE