We’re all technical these days

Business leaders need to embrace technology now or risk the long term future of their business, writes Michael Richards, Chairman of webexpenses.

20101418_mWe’re all technical these days – or at least we should be. However, all too often as business people, we are fond of giving away the responsibility for the technology that is driving our businesses and which we know deep down we should be helping to shape. What’s more, as consumers and end users demand more and more from organisations for much less, there’s never been a more important time to reassess our attitudes to technology and its significance to our everyday business operations.

Since the 90s, technology has advanced at an unprecedented and exponential rate. Not only has technology changed organisations’ relationship with their customers, it has meant that smaller businesses can compete on a level playing field with the so-called ‘big boys’.

For those looking to get ahead of the competition, there are a number of things they should consider when it comes to technology and its impact on their business’s success.

First of all, there’s the increasing development and ubiquity of remote hosting technologies. Examples of hosting technologies can be seen in the form of Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services. Like never before, these remote hosting platforms dramatically reduce the requirements of setting up and maintaining on-site corporate infrastructure. This is a great advantage for all sizes of organisation, but particularly for small businesses and those just starting out as it means that they can compete like never before.

Given the rapid increase of remotely hosted business services, authentication and authorisation will become even more important in the very near future. Only recently we’ve seen Apple launch its mobile payment system which dramatically changes the way in which consumers pay for their goods and services. In fact, this type of technology will become de rigueur in the next couple of years – gone will be the days where we carry around a small wallet of plastic cards.

With this in mind, it’s simply illogical for modern business leaders to ignore such advancements. Not only do developments in electronic authentication allow the consumer more freedom and expediency in their everyday purchases, it means that businesses are essentially competing for the ID details of their customers on a daily basis. Without the necessary infrastructure in place to compete and provide customers with an easy way of proving who they are, organisations will quickly find themselves becoming irrelevant in the market place.

Usability of their client-facing operations should be another area of tech investment for businesses of all sizes.  It is becoming increasingly important to ensure that it is your service that customers choose instead of your competitors.  Typically the competition is only one click away – so you have to catch them first with the smoothest user experience you can achieve.

In fact, webexpenses recently took steps to ensure its own cloud-based expenses management platform has even greater appeal for its customers by integrating with Xero, one of the leading online accounting software companies. The deal will bring seamless integration between the two platforms, providing end users with a fast way to transfer webexpenses invoice data into Xero’s software.

By ensuring that your company has the right approach and attitude to technology you will have a sound foundation on which to build a company that uses technology to complement not complicate its operations. What’s more an ability to engage with emerging trends in the tech sector will ensure that your business stays ahead of the competition.

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