Productivity is one of the most perplexing concepts in business. On the one hand, many entrepreneurs claim they understand productivity and how to improve it. On the other hand, many successful executives also claim they aren’t getting as much done as they would like. With everyone continually attempting to improve their productivity, it is clear there seems to be considerable room for improvement.
Technology has always promised to provide business with the tools it needs to get better results. The question is how can technology be applied to a business in order to improve productivity and reap the practical benefits of reduced costs and increased sales? The answers to that question aren’t as complicated as many might believe.
Ask any successful business person what their greatest time sink is and there is a significant chance they will tell you it is responding to routine emails. Anyone involved in a professional relationship will tell you going dark during a conversation through email or social media is a first class method of causing all kinds of problems, with several of them likely financial in nature.
Software is in a constant race to make these communications quicker and more efficient, but the biggest advance lately has been to also adjust the technology so it limits the number of interruptions. Any application that can batch conversations in a convenient and easy to manage format, for example, is likely to prevent the kinds of time drains that hinder busy people.
Computers are very good at two things many people dislike: Counting and lists. More accurately, computers are good at math in much the same way toddlers are good at picking up things their mothers would prefer they left alone, and they are equally good at storing information. When these two abilities combine, they create databases.
Spreadsheets are considered by many to be one of the most influential technologies of the past fifty years. Databases, and especially enterprise-class databases, are spreadsheets with monster truck wheels. The best way to describe their power is with sales leads. In a spreadsheet, sales leads can be listed and sorted. In a database, they can be categorized, and any particular item on the list can be made to appear at the top with the right query. If a sales staff is tasked with increasing the customer base for Course Hero free account, they don’t necessarily have to increase the units sold, they can also reduce costs to achieve the same results.
This is mind-bogglingly powerful when combined with a sales staff capable of using the information. The database is the reason so many customer relationship management (CRM) firms are successful.
Advanced Copy and Paste
Right alongside spreadsheets, the venerable process of copying a block of text or an image and pasting it in some other directory or document is often overlooked by those seeking the most advanced of advanced technologies. The truth of the matter, however, is that copying data is a powerful technology in itself. Copying data and then pasting it into a different context is world-changing.
Consider for a moment the example of the sales leads in the database. What would it mean to a company if a single lead could be copied from that database and then pasted into a customer acquisition costs report with only the relevant data visible? What if that same lead could then be pasted into a revenue report with different relevant data? How about sales projections? Product demand by location? Applications already exist to do all of these kinds of operations, and they are changing the way companies see their customers and presenting them with new opportunities.
Voice to Text
A good technical writer can produce 1000 words of good quality work an hour if they are experienced. Replace their keyboard with a microphone and they can double or triple that level of productivity. Voice interfaces are the next step in human-computer interaction, and they are going to get their fastest start with those who would rather spend 20 seconds composing an e-mail than 20 minutes.
When voice interfaces combine with advanced copy and paste, it will completely change the process by which data is compiled, and not just for certain kinds of businesses.
Portable Television Stations
Any business person carrying a mobile phone is capable of putting together a remote television broadcast from nearly any location on Earth 24 hours a day. How might this improve business productivity? Simple. When every person in an organization is virtually present alongside every other person in the same company, the time cost of collaborating plummets. The more people who are included, the more rapidly costs are reduced.
This of course leaves aside the impact of every employee carrying a high-resolution camera with unlimited film.
So much has become possible in just the last ten years that most companies are still coming to grips with the technology they already have. It is easy to overlook the possibilities, but once the true nature of the information revolution is understood, it will advance business in ways we haven’t even considered.
by: Mikkie Mills