Technologies to Boost Business Productivity

Technologies you can use today to boost business productivityBoost Business Productivity

When it comes to technology, most of the talk is about tomorrow. But the truth is, many of the tools you need are here today. Using technology efficiently can boost business productivity in spades and most of it, surprisingly, is more convenient, collaborative and affordable than the clunky old systems of yesterday.

Let’s start with the granddaddy of all – productivity boosters.

The cloud

Adopting cloud computing can really supercharge your productivity. It saves money and time, and increases employee productivity and collaboration. Some businesses may be reluctant to use cloud services because of security concerns – but what could be more secure than taking away the threat of fire, electrical surge and theft? A move to the cloud means outsourcing servers and support to some of the biggest, best-resourced (and most secure) online facilities in the world.

If that doesn’t get your heads out of the clouds and into the cloud, think about file management and version control. Staff can collaborate in a single document at the same time, ‘live’ from different locations. No more emailing files, and no more worrying about version control.

The internet of things

Yesterday, everything went back to a hub for storage and compute. Not anymore. The internet of things (IoT) is connecting an increasing range of devices to each other. Today’s gadgets, tracking systems and other smart devices can all help boost your business’s productivity. Social media companies, personal fitness specialists and the healthcare system are all early adopters of the IoT, but they’re just the beginning.

One such example is healthcare data provider Geneia and the year-long remote patient monitoring program it conducted with individuals diagnosed with heart failure. The program revealed that, thanks to the remote patient monitoring technology (IoT), the participants’ quality of life improved and they spent considerably less time in hospital.

Think about the time you could save on deliveries with an app that sends your drivers’ GPS signals back to base or to the customer, estimating delivery time. Imagine connecting easily with the office from home – accessing information, controlling physical facilities (like lights and heating), and much more.

Software… use it or lose it

There is a time- and cost-saving app for just about anything, from payroll to budgets to file-sharing technologies. Whatever you choose to use, it’s important to explore and use its full potential. There is nothing more frustrating – or expensive – than having time-saving technologies sitting around and not being used effectively.

So the key message is: use it or lose it. Without adequate training to help employees adopt these devices and systems into their daily workflows, the benefits will be minimal. But, with the right mix of hardware, software and skilled human operators, your business can benefit hugely from its technology stack.

The best way to prepare for the worst

Disaster recovery has its own urban myth. It appears in different forms, but it runs something like this:

“70 percent of companies go out of business after a major data loss.”

The statistic is attributed (when it is attributed) to various sources. Sometimes it’s the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US or it might be the former Department of Trade and Industry in the UK.worst

Although the statistic is not correct — or at least there is no source for it — the question it poses warrants pause for thought. How much would losing data cost you? How many days could your business last? And what would the long-term effects be?

The best answer you could give to questions about data loss

The best answer you could give is that it does not matter because no disaster will take you offline. You have a well-thought-out disaster recovery plan, and you are executing on it.

Putting your plan to the test

A quick test should put your mind at ease or give you some action points to make changes.

1. Check your backups

It has happened: a great backup plan, backups taken on schedule, everything seemingly bulletproof until the backups were found to be empty.
Try not to rely on the automated email claiming “success”. Look at how long the backup ran, how much data it captured and whether anything is different from what you’re used to seeing.

2. Review annually

At least once a year ask if you’re backing up everything you should be. And could the process be easier? Do you have a business continuity plan in place? Picturing your workforce with nothing to do and your customers unable to order is a motivating reason to spend some time on these questions.

3. Consider your storage options

Onsite backups allow for the swiftest data retrieval. They are also vulnerable to the same threats as your primary systems. Thieves, for instance, are unlikely to take pity and leave backup hardware behind. Fire and flood are equally heartless.
Your backup plan needs to involve another site or the cloud. The best backup plans include both because there are pros and cons to each. A natural disaster in your area might take out your offsite backups in the same town. More simply, people — the weakest link in any IT system — can forget to take the backups offsite.
Cloud backup can be automated, but it can take days (or more) to retrieve significant amounts of data. But do not use that as an excuse to backup selectively to the cloud. You still need everything backed up — operating system, programs, and data.

4. Test those backups

What is the least accessible, hardest to test backup you have? Take that and test it at least once a year.

CRM Transforming Health Care

How CRM technology is transforming the health care industry

You might expect customer relationship manager (CRM) technology to be more popular among marketing agencies than medical centers, but you might be surprised. Health care CRM software is being used in the health care sector to complement electronic health records (EHRs) and drive digital transformation in the industry.

In the USA, EHR implementation doubled between 2007 and 2012, with digital patient information leaping from 35 percent to 71 percent. Its take-up was far from enthusiastic. Doctors complained about intensive data entry, which limited the time they could spend examining their patients. Every line typed into an EHR meant a few minutes less to get to the root of an ailment.Health Care CRM

An electronic repository of medical history, diagnoses and treatment plans can, however, radically improve the way doctors help their patients. When coupled with a health care CRM system, the step forward EHRs were supposed to represent can be realized.

Microsoft white paper into the effects of CRM on patient care found a number of positives. Patient satisfaction in medical centers using the technology rose by 19 percent. Medical team productivity increased by 28 percent. And the return on investment over a five-year period was expected to leap to almost 400 percent.

Health Care CRM tech puts the focus back on the patient

EHRs are a means of easily accessing a wealth of patient data, and CRM technology then takes that raw information and passes it through a personalizing lens. A patient is likely to feel more cared for when a doctor has a rounded profile to work with – one that combines clinical and behavioral insights. Versatile CRM solutions allow medical professionals to build detailed, accurate patient profiles to help doctors better understand their needs.

One-stop info shop

Since a CRM system is effectively a unified data store, it allows the right people to access the right information in real-time – whether medical, administration or support teams. This means, thanks to varying CRM clearance levels, only the medical staff will be able to view their patients’ sensitive medical information, while hospital administrators will only be viewing information relevant to their position.

The bottom line? No more lost records, no more conflicting information and no more misunderstood handwriting.

Messaging that patients need, when they need it

Finally, CRM implementation gives medical centers the opportunity to establish a dialogue with their patients using multi-channel communication technology. This could come in the form of a text message sent at a particular time of day, or an email with check-up details in a more accessible format. Taking a leaf out of a marketer’s handbook, this form of automated communication allows you to tailor the way you correspond with patients.

While the introduction of EHRs may have been received with a mixed reception in the health care industry, the addition of CRMs may be that missing ingredient to maximize efficiency and convenience. Check out the CRM platforms that can help you streamline how your health care service operates.