Financials and Cash Flow

Smart technology investments

Learn why investing in these technologies now can benefit your business in the future. 

Published: April 11, 2013

The right technology upgrades can provide a twofold return on investment: they can improve productivity and can also offer long-term cost savings.

Here are some valuable technology investments worth considering.

Third-party IT services

Third-party IT service providers offer network access, data backups and troubleshooting, either by phone or on-site. And now, these services are more affordable than ever. Only a few years ago, many third-party providers required you to purchase expensive server equipment and hire skilled in-house staff. But now, thanks to faster Internet access, cheaper storage and the growth of online computing, IT providers can deliver the latest technology and reliable security remotely.

In addition, IT providers can help you mitigate security risks and help protect against regulatory violations and legal problems. Service providers such as accountants or financial advisors, lawyers and health care organizations are especially subject to these regulations, which require more rigid customer and patient data protection.

Video conferencing

Video conferencing allows multiple people to connect through web cameras and software. This service fosters collaboration and communication among geographically dispersed team members, and can increase savings for businesses over time. For example, instead of paying to send staff across the country for meetings, you can conduct meetings from the comfort of your own conference rooms.

To set up video conferencing, simply sign up for a service like Google Hangouts, Zoom.Us, Skype, Cisco, WebEx or GoToMeeting. Many of these providers offer both free and fee-based video conferencing services.

Mobile technology

Smartphones and tablets are becoming an integral part of today’s business culture. From automating day-to-day operations to storing and projecting presentations, mobile technology provides 24/7 connectivity making it easy to conduct business on the go from anywhere in the world.

Mobile solutions from software providers like QuickBooks Online allow you to accept credit cards, track sales and update tax information, all for a small monthly fee and right from your smartphone. Specialized scheduling software like Full Slate provides employees the ability to schedule appointments on a mobile device, share on social media sites and create reports for tracking purposes. Additionally, popular apps like HP Connected and Apple AirPrint are changing the way businesses print, by allowing users to print directly from a mobile device to the nearest printer, with no installation required.

Keep in mind that mobile devices are susceptible to data threats just like computers. If your mobile devices are compromised (by a hacker, by an insecure app, etc.) then your corporate network may be affected and, in turn, compromise the security of your personal data. So it’s important to take security precautions. Currently, companies like Symantec, AVG and McAfee offer mobile security apps, which can be used to ensure your smartphone and other mobile devices are secure from malware and other threats.

The latest technology allows businesses to operate more efficiently than ever. When used effectively, technology can increase productivity, reduce costs, prevent internal mistakes and streamline communication in your business. By investing in smart solutions now, you could put your business ahead of the game and could set yourself up for future success.