The needs of every business is different. While a small start-up by a solo entrepreneur can run with just a laptop and an internet connection, these will no longer be adequate as the company starts to grow, have more employees, and gain more customers. The demands will expectedly be higher and the company will need to support itself with the resources to meet these demands. Procuring the right office technology is an important part of this growing process.
If you are looking to buy or upgrade your office tech, here are the tech that you can expect to see in most medium to large businesses.
One of the most common office technologies present in medium to large businesses are mobile devices, especially laptops and cellular phones. While desktop computers are still heavily used in many companies and organisations, the portability offered by laptops has caused many businesses to make the shift, especially now that remote work is becoming widely implemented. With a mobile device, employees do not need to be stuck in an office or a single location to complete their tasks.
Another major advantage of using mobile devices is the increased ability of employees to communicate and work together. Unlike before where phones were limited to calling and texting, now it is possible to do just about any work on a smartphone. There are also many applications available with the use of mobile devices that help make collaboration at work much more efficient.
The way people use, access, and store data is one of the greatest testaments of how dramatic the evolution of technology has been. Many businesses have recognized the convenience of digitizing data and using cloud technology. There is no more need to spend hours browsing through dusty file rooms because when data is stored in the cloud, employees can easily access information whenever and wherever they are with a few clicks of their devices.
Cloud technology also makes it easier for multiple users to access the same data as well as track who have used and updated the information. This is quite useful especially for large organisations as it removes the manual task of recording access and usage history, making files more secure.
Self-service technology refers to pieces of equipment, applications, and systems that allow users to produce and receive services without interaction with another person. Some common examples of self-service tech are ATMs, vending machines, airport check-in machines, and hotel booking sites. These services previously required the users to interact with another human in order to complete a transaction like a bank employee or a shop vendor. The main advantage of self-service tech is speed. For users who already know what they want at the onset, it makes it easier and faster for them to receive a product or a service.
Self-service tech is not only becoming increasingly popular in the consumer market but also in business environments. For example, the technology used in vending machines has changed drastically that these are being used not only to dispense chocolate bars and soda. Now, many companies are becoming more creative in how they use vending machines to serve employees, reduce overhead costs, and increase productivity.
Large companies who operate round the clock use vending machines to offer a wider range of food options to employees including coffee, beverages, and nutrient-dense snack items to promote healthy eating at work. This is more practical and economical than opening the office cafeteria 24/7 and hiring additional staff.
Another example is using vending machines to dispense IT products and office supplies. The usual process is to request these items from an IT employee and this usually takes time and additional paperwork to complete. While it may not seem very critical, not many people realize that a broken keyboard or empty batteries, for example, can cause a lot of delays in an employee’s work. By using a vending machine, employees can swipe their details and instantly get their requested product. This cuts the employee waiting time, which can result in better productivity.
Access Control Systems
Security, whether physical or digital, is a topmost concern for many medium to large companies. In smaller businesses, it is easier to monitor every single employee. However, when a company’s workforce becomes bigger, tracking the comings and goings of every person becomes much more challenging. This is the reason why many companies now use access control systems in order to protect their businesses and block unauthorized access.
Access control technologies can be implemented to control physical access to buildings and offices. Older systems used numerical keypads and swipe cards but these are now rapidly being replaced with biometric control systems. The most common biometric control systems include fingerprint, iris, palm, and voice scanners. These are deemed to be more secure as they are more employee specific and they prevent security breaches through sharing of codes and physical cards.
Another common application of access control systems is in limiting access to company data. In most companies, an entry-level employee does not share the same access privileges as a company director. Data control measures is then enforced to make sure that only authorized staff can access certain sets of data.
Medium to large businesses will understandably have higher overhead costs than that of smaller companies. After all, more employees means more salaries to pay, larger office spaces, additional devices, etc. This makes it important for companies to maximize their resources as much as they can. One way this is now being done is with automated systems.
There are several applications of this technology. One of the most common one is the use of automation in data processing. It is now possible to automate data capturing, analysis, and reporting. Not only is this much faster, but it is also less prone to manual human error.
The use of automated communication platforms to deliver support to employees and customers is another way automation is used. Interactive chat bots, emailers, and messaging apps are just examples of how companies can deliver nonstop support without needing additional employees.
Larger companies also benefit from building automation technologies wherein all the company’s electronic and digital systems such as lighting, heating, cooling, security, and internet are centralized. Aside from the efficiency it provides, an automated building system can also be a major energy-saving tool for businesses.
Choosing the right office tech for your business
An endless number of business tech innovations crop up every single day and it can be quite overwhelming to keep up with each one of them. It is important to do your homework in order to learn which will help your business gain the competitive advantage it needs to grow and succeed.