How can businesses leverage technology to improve productivity?
Productivity is one of the most commonly discussed topics in business and with good reason. The concept of getting the most out of the limited hours of the day is a key driver of success, especially for companies that operate on tight deadlines.
Thankfully for these businesses, technology can provide significant productivity improvements if utilised correctly. However, there are some key considerations to make before adopting innovations to ensure a maximum return on investment.
How exactly can technology give you an advantage?
A report from the Australian Industry (Ai) Group highlighted some areas in which businesses could apply technology for greater productivity.
ICT is one of the most valuable ways service providers can improve productivity.
The disruptive properties of technology are well known and the emergence of different businesses process, products and models underpin more efficient ways to complete day-to-day tasks. Through enhanced knowledge sharing, better awareness of client or customer needs, ease of control over the supply chain and discovering new markets, many firms will be able to see significant productivity gains through the uptake of technology.
For firms in the service sector, productivity can be more difficult to define and measure. A report from the New Zealand Productivity Commission found that ICT is one of the most valuable ways that businesses in this particular sector can improve their operations for better productivity.
However, Commission Chair Murray Sherwin explained that there are some internal requirements that businesses need to possess to see the successful adoption of new technology.
“Getting the most out of ICT will require flexibility and changes to the way that we do business,” he said. “Firms will struggle to make effective use of ICT if they are unable to access the right mix of business and technical skills.”
Should you consider information outsourcing?
According to research from the University of California and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, IT outsourcing could offer productivity benefits to businesses. Out of the firms observed, productivity increased by 6 per cent on average just by using this type of service.
Businesses that typically chose to outsource are ones with high intensity IT and fluctuating demand. Outsourcing is most effective if it considerably changes a process for the better.
For example, investing in productivity software can be a good first step to change the way businesses recruit. By utilising self-service portals on a single vendor system, these platforms can offer quicker ways to bill and pay all employees in a workplace.