By Tere Scott

Whether you’re ready or not, moving into the wide world of technology, online exposure or data storage in the cloud have become a necessary part of running a business. For some companies, getting smarter with technology management is an easy progression. For others, it is a giant leap into the unknown and often involves fears and questions that range from “where to begin?” to “how to avoid cyber security threats.”

Here are some great benefits and helpful tips on using smarter technology to grow your business with business technology management.

Boost productivity

Smarter technology tools are fantastic for boosting productivity. File storage in the cloud allows you to free up space on company computers and make information accessible to your private network, allowing workers to work remotely with desktop applications that connect them to files in the office. Using Voice Over Internet Protocol VOIP technology instead of land lines to stay connected to the office phone or fax line allows you to conduct meetings through teleconferencing or video communication methods in real time. There is even voice recognition software for dictation.

Before diving in and dumping money into the latest technology, a smart business owner first does a little research. Begin by using time tracking software to get a good picture of how your employees are currently spending their time. Keep in mind that your employees are people and not machines, so always communicate your intentions whenever tracking their workflow, and use the information to assist and streamline their efforts instead of as an unethical intrusion or a threat to their employment.

Make your money work for you

Before you can know how to best invest your company’s money, you must first know how much money is coming in and where it is currently being spent. Use online budget tracking or a comprehensive accounting software to stay on top of the profit, losses and expenses. Online programs also make it easier and more efficient for businesses to file taxes on time and with more accuracy. It also allows you to quickly share information with your accountant or bookkeeper with security features to protect financial documents. Another good use of smarter technology when it comes to money matters is implementing online invoicing services to streamline customer payments.

Target your online marketing

One of the biggest benefits to using smarter technology in business technology management is tapping into the worldwide web of potential customer growth. Where once companies would have to spend a great deal of money on marketing and advertising campaigns, social media and email management software cuts these expenses, making it more economical to reach a wider audience of potential customers. Use smarter technology to allow clients to schedule appointments at their convenience through their mobile device or computer, stay on top of communicating new products and deliver top-notch customer service through social media. Develop an app for mobile devices that keep customers engaged in your company. Online questionnaires, opt-in forms to gather email addresses or phone numbers for calling or texting and website traffic tracking also help you pinpoint where your focus is best invested in creating your own marketing plan.

Tap into the tools at your fingertips to get the most out of advances in technology, and boost your bottom line. Save money with the ability to modify and personalize computer programs by using open source software wherever it is available, or have your own savvy employees write their own. Use these smarter technology tips to streamline your business technology management.