The business benefits of integrated software and technology

Andy Bailey | Founder and CEO

Like the ocean, the business landscape ebbs and flows continuously. Compliance changes from government, competitors adapting and growing, and technology advances bringing new ways of doing things. Not to mention the ever-increasing demands of your customers. What benefits can you reap from a well thought out, well-planned level of technology for your organisation?

Mistaken panacea?

It’s all too easy to be wooed by the slick sales team from one of the leading business software vendors. Despite what they may advocate, it is unlikely that any one piece of software will be the panacea for all of your troubles.

The real benefit may only be realised when technology is integrated; removing the effort of re-keying data and reducing the risk of human error. Integrating several products will generate time efficiency and cost savings. Automate the tasks that only have one answer; posting data, reconciling transactions and updating connected systems. Technology can do this far more efficiently than humans can. Make your software work for you! Enable your team to focus on what they do best, from building relationships to interpreting data and making judgements based on their experience. Not only is this more interesting and rewarding for your staff, it’s an area where people are still significantly stronger than robots.

Complying with a non-compliant world!

Brexit, Donald Trump, Teresa May’s reduced majority. Professional pollsters got all of these wrong. The only certainty in the 21st century is an ever changing and uncertain world.

As a business leader, you need to be one step ahead of the competition to ensure that you can adapt and evolve. However, you cannot automate or streamline a task if you don’t know what it is. If your team are your beating heart, then your workflows and processes are the blood pumping through your organisation's veins. They are what differentiates you from your rivals.

Don’t let your software provider dictate how you work, how you should run your business. Build a workflow that benefits you and your customers and make your software work for you. A good solution will allow you to follow their template. The very best applications will make your processes effortless.

Building your competitive advantage

With hundreds of software vendors with thousands of applications, how do you find the right solution for your business?

1. Think about your business goals. What is it you want to achieve? Without a clear objective, you will be unable to find the best solution.

2. Once you know your target, ensure your procedures support it. No matter how efficient your workflow is, if it is the wrong workflow you will not achieve your dreams!

3. Now you can start to think about the features of your technology. You need to be ruthless…what is essential and what is nice. I’ve seen ill-fitting software recommended too many time because it meets a long list of nice to have features rather than being the best fit for the must haves.

4. Review your existing technology. Does it meet your needs? If not, it’s time to look at their competitors.

5. Research the alternatives. Speak to your network. Seek recommendations. This can be the most difficult step as for many applications the only source of information will be the vendors' website. Great for looking at strengths, but not exactly unbiased!

6. Download trials and arrange demos to see what the software can do for you. A great sales person will tailor their demo to match your requirements. It’s easy to be wowed, so make sure you have a list of questions before hand.

7. Once you’ve made your decision you can implement your software and configure links to the rest of your suite.

For many people, the above will be too daunting or too time-consuming. That’s where an expert advisor can come in and add value to your business.

Octopus Blue help your business to optimise your processes and software, enabling you to operate in the most time efficient and cost-effective way.

Octopus Blue are uniquely independent, whole of market, business software experts. Our experienced consultants will implement and configure your entire software stack, empowering you to laser focus on what you do best.

Octopus Blue. The business software experts.

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