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Let’s Talk Work Computers and Stuff

Digital transformation, working smarter. Better connectivity. Agile IT. All these phrases keep cropping up. But they are just for big enterprises, right? Yes, kind of. They matter to you, too, but at scale. Sometimes this constant urging to go digital (whatever that means) feels too much, so you don’t do anything at all. And that’s a mistake. Broken down into ‘to-do’, checklist chunks, harnessing the power of next-gen computing is neither big nor scary. Here’s five ‘top-of-our heads’ reasons for going digital. More to follow. You’re welcome.

1. Think customers. Always.
Whether you run a globe-straddling corporate monolith or a motor factors business, your success depends on attracting new customers, retaining those you have, and maximising those relationships. In this digitally driven world, customer expectations increase all the time and if you can’t match your rivals in terms of delivering the goods or services these customers expect they’ll simply find someone who will. Equally, if you’re offering a better, faster service – or adding value in a way your competitors cannot – you’re ahead on all the customer-driven issues. And who doesn’t want that?

2. Be like today, but better.
If you get your digitisation right, adding value to your value proposition – marketing-speak for whatever it is you do – rarely requires more work. In truth, you’ll probably do less actual stuff, and simply manage what’s happening. That’s the ‘work smarter’ ethic people talk about so smugly in ads for people like IBM and SAP. But behind those template ads of people smiling in meetings and sharing a laugh at something on screen, the principle is true. If you get the processes right for, say, ordering a widget for a 2020 VW Passat, the rest takes care of itself, and you have more time to get more customers.

3. Consider the cloud.
Many SMEs think of ‘the cloud’ as a slightly abstract thing that doesn’t apply to them when it’s an opportunity waiting to be taken. It’s the direction of travel for most business, large, small and everything in between. Cloud computing simply means shifting all the things you do here onto a server farm somewhere else. In that way, you lose all the expense of running your IT in the basement or wherever and gain pretty much limitless computing power. The programs and applications you run there will work quicker, be more easily modified to cope with new demand, and the scope for growth – for scaling up – is unlimited. Why sell car parts to local people only? Think big.

4. Outsource the aggro.
Thing is, unless your business is an actual IT services company, like ours, you have better things to do with your day than fret about connectivity issues, crashes and ‘computer says no’ messages. You’re in the customer services business. Nothing should stand between you and looking after the people who pay your wages today and might yet increase them tomorrow. None of us are experts in everything. You wouldn’t service your own boiler or rewire your house. Who has the time to sit through days of instructional YouTube videos only to end up in a freezing house, or A&E? Just as you would call a hearting engineer or a qualified electrician to handle these issues, it makes sense to outsource your IT issues to experts, too.

5. Think about tomorrow.
For the small business, your working day may seem like a hand to mouth struggle. It probably is, and there’s a reason for that. Too many of us live and work in the present as we believe there may not be a future if we don’t solve problem X, Y and Z right now. And if we stay in that mindset, that’s all it will ever be – attritional, day-to-day problem-solving. If your eye’s not on the ball, some bigger boys are going to steal it.

However, thinking about what your business will look like in 12 months, a year, maybe even 10, is a strategic requirement you can’t afford to ignore. How can you be successful if you don’t know what success looks like? Wouldn’t you like to fatten up the business and sell it on, or leave it in a better state than you found it?
If life feels like a marathon, call Sprint.

As we’ve said, simply working harder isn’t going to cut it. You, and your business, are going to have to change to succeed. Whether that’s going mobile, telematics, outsourcing your IT, or thinking about digital transformation (we’ve covered that before, and come back to it again because it’s important) doing things differently is nothing to be afraid of, if you talk to the right people. And that’s us.
Speak soon.

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