How to: Use IT to increase business profitability

A lot of organisations still only see IT as an expense – a cost to the business that adds no particular value, apart from it being a necessity to function (like power/water etc).

But what if you could use IT to increase business profitability? So it was seen as an investment, and was able to provide efficiencies that allowed the organisation to focus on growing. Who wouldn’t put their hand up for that?

So how could it work? Take these examples;

Virtualisation

Virtualisation is the creation of a virtual form of something in IT – from a network, to storage, hardware or a server. So basically this means you can consolidate and run apps on fewer physical servers, increasing deployment rates and reducing operational costs.

It will also provide you with the flexibility of moving and balancing loads depending on requirements  – something that is highly-recommended if you have unpredictable rates of usage, for example if you are launching a large project which will put strain on the current operating system.

Read more: Poor IT will cost a business significantly. Here’s how to do it the right way.

VoiP and Cloud phone systems

If you don’t yet use VoiP (voice over IP), you’re missing out on a big opportunity to reduce operating costs. Some estimates have said that the implementation of VoiP in a business could save them up to 50 per cent of their traditional phone bill. From phone plans, through to messaging and video conferencing, VoiP and Cloud phone systems aid productivity in the workplace by offering a reliable, unified communication system.

Maximising efficiency

These is little doubt that being able to use technology to increase efficiency is one of the best ways for a business to see profitable benefits.

Project management systems are a great example of how individuals and teams can collaborate on tasks together, but reduce the time required to have ‘catch-up’ meetings, and to update others about what they need to be doing – and of course this is particularly important for those who don’t work in the same place.

Automating tasks

Think about all the things that occur in your organisation on a daily basis – are there any processes that are carried out over and over by an individual, or even a team?  Now think about if you were able to implement an automated system around that task. For example – remember when paying by credit card meant someone had to take a physical impression of it onto carbon paper? Today it’s just a simple scan of a machine and the payment is processed, so more transactions can take place faster. By maximising output, there’s no doubt – due to the economies of scale – that profits are then able to be increased, as it will take less time for a particular task to be carried out.

Provide first-class service to your customers

A customer relationship management system is a must for any business, and one that has multiple functionalities will allow you to customise your solutions or products to cater for their needs – which obviously results in a better customer experience, and repeat business (as well as an increase in referrals). For example, the Net Promoter Score software allows you to capture a wide range of thoughts and feelings from your customers, and take action on those results.

Mobile technology and remote access

By using technology to make your business mobile and remotely accessible, you are making your products and/or services available to a larger market. However it is important to realise it’s not just about providing people with mobile phones – as there is a bit more involved that simply being armed with devices. But once the technology is established, it will open up many new opportunities for your business to grow and increase profits.

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This blog post is a condensed version of an article in our latest eBook. Keen on further knowledge on how to manage IT in your business? Download: An essential guide to IT for SME business – Risk, Security and Productivity