To successfully conduct business operations in the modern environment, companies are forced to integrate various new technologies into their infrastructure with the purpose of optimizing processes and cutting down operational costs.
Those technologies include tools with implementations in a wide array of industries and team structures, such as project management, online communication, collaboration, lead and customer management, as well as those that are more or less specific for particular types of industries or working environments, such as remote employee monitoring software or email archiving systems.
And while new technologies bring advancement to businesses of all sizes and types, they also raise the question of whether we are slowly becoming increasingly more dependent on technology to conduct our business.
Perhaps the answer lies in the way the tools are being used? Let’s examine!
1. Project Management Tools
With expanding companies and especially with distributed teams, mental planning and verbal workload assignment are a thing of the past.
Nowadays, companies are heavily relying on remote work monitoring and project management tools that provide a clear picture of what is being done, in what amount of time, by whom, and how, and thus make keeping track of the project progress from anywhere and at all times easy. Moreover, leaving comments in such tools is a good way to connect knowledge from various sides and put it in a context.
The most famous project management tools are Trello, Asana, Jira, and more, but as they all come with their own set of features that are formulated differently for certain types of teams and also serve as employee tracking software, it’s important to find the most suitable option for your company by basing it on your own set of criteria.
2. Online Communication Tools
Leaving comments in a project management tool can sometimes, however, work against you. In a team that is not accustomed to communicating via tasks, you may need to find other ways of relaying messages.
For example, email is still the number one channel for business communication, but in highly regulated industries like healthcare, finances, or education, companies are legally required to create email retention policies in accordance with regulations for later reviewing since communication is not susceptible to tracking via screen monitoring software.
On the other hand, video calls are also a fast way of exchanging information and opinions – and have been made possible by using technology such as Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, and even Slack – when participants are unable to meet in person for whatever reason.
3. Document Collaboration Tools
If any business processes needed modernizing in recent times, it’s certainly document collaboration. Tools like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, as well as PandaDoc and similar, have made it incredibly easier for multiple people to add information in written form to an existing document from anywhere and anytime.
The same way you don’t have to be in the same room with them for monitoring remote employees, technology has made all of our lives easier. Not only is it no longer necessary to make physical copies of documents and share them in person with only one collaborator at a time, but it has also contributed to us being more environmentally responsible by reducing waste.
4. Lead and Customer Management Tools
Companies depend on acquiring customers, so it makes sense to stop doing it on the fly. Keeping extensive records of your relationship with the customer will inevitably ameliorate it – be that an existing or a prospective customer.
Tools like HubSpot and Salesforce are able to retain information about all communication instances, issues and their respective resolutions (where screen monitoring software is also helpful), special customer needs and corresponding demands, and more in order to achieve a high quality of service.
This is essential for the long-term retention of clients as well as acquiring new ones by focusing on the pain points that define the level of customer satisfaction in the long run and by extension spur product or service development, company growth, and positioning well on highly competitive markets.
4. (Remote) Employee Monitoring Software
One type of tool that is currently experiencing great expansion is software that allows authorized personnel to keep track of employees’ workplace activities and gather data about their productivity levels. By recording keyboard usage intensity, website and app use, screen capturing, even camera and GPS tracking, companies are in the position to ensure their employees are performing their professional duties as expected.
However, information gathered via (remote) employee monitoring software should not be used to control employees, but to analyze their performance in a systematic manner to find exemplar processes and individuals whose working habits can be transferred to other staff members.
By all accounts, modern technologies are shaping the way companies conduct business, and have, to an extent, made themselves indispensable. However, the more companies find new ways of replacing humans and pure human contact, the more they are becoming reliant on new technologies – for better or worse.