Every time you turn around it seems there’s a new technological advancement designed to make life easier. While some are just a flash in the pan, others take hold and grow because they make a significant difference in efficiency and cost management.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud services have enabled office equipment that we never even considered being interactive to be managed via app with ability to foster collaboration from any location. And AI automated processes have freed staff from repetitive, manual tasks.
The importance of technology for businesses to keep a competitive edge is evident in the statistics for smart office market size, which is expected to jump from 22.45 billion (2017) to 46.11 billion by 2023.
Which office technology can give you the best return on your investment in cost savings and efficiency boosts?
We’ll run down the top technology to check out next.
Smart Office Tech to Give You the Biggest Bang for Your Buck
Not all new office gadgets are created equal. Just because something is the “newest thing” doesn’t mean it will automatically improve your workflow and make sense for your business, so you want to evaluate fully before you buy, preferably with the help of a trusted IT consultant.
There are some technologies that have already proven themselves in multiple offices around the world, and we’ve got a list of the best to consider that are transforming businesses and helping them get ahead of the pack.
Digital Voice Assistants
This is one area where a technology has taken off first in the consumer space (Google Home, Echo) but has huge potential for use in the workplace as well.
Since we can speak faster than we type and with the vast improvement in speech recognition just over the past few years, voice assistants are making themselves useful for multiple voice-activated work tasks.
With a connection to IoT devices, you could ask a voice assistant to “make 10 copies of file xyz” and have it ready on the printer in no time. Or just skip the paper all together and ask your automated assistant to email it out to the appropriate people. Voice assistants at work bring with them increased efficiency and time savings.
Now that most offices are used to working with cloud applications, the next step is to completely virtualize workstations. Desktop virtualization allows you to have your entire operating system and computer interface hosted virtually on a cloud server so you can access it anytime, anywhere, and from any device.
This greatly increases employee flexibility and mobility and can reduce hardware costs for physical workstations.
Team Communication Apps Replacing Internal Email
Email has become a place where real messages get lost in between spam and phishing. For many offices, it’s become a major time consumer and no longer an efficient way to communicate with colleagues.
The average worker spends 28% of their work week going through email.
Managers are discovering that team chat is a much more efficient way for staff to communicate. Programs like Microsoft Teams and Slack are being adopted at a rapid pace, and offer multiple benefits over email, including:
- Instant text, voice, or video communication
- Ability to separate channels by department, project, or something else
- Easy file sharing without worrying about file size rejections
- Notifications preferences to keep important things at the top
- Can be used on any device
- Keeps all your communication trails safely stored in one space
- Easily searchable for files and conversations
- Integrates with multiple cloud-based platforms
Cloud-based Smart Locks
Companies are finding that tracking who left the equipment shed unlocked or who accessed the petty cash box last is much easier to do when you use smart locks. While these devices may not be a flashy as some of the other tech, they are incredibly useful.
These IoT devices can be programmed remotely, removing the need to keep track of multiple physical keys. They also have full reporting on when something was accessed and the ability to engage the lock remotely if someone forgot to lock up after a long workday.
AI and Automations
It was only a decade or two ago when each piece of office software we used was a stand alone and didn’t communicate with any others. Today, most productivity tools are cloud-based, and they have the ability to integrate, either directly or through a third-party application like Zapier.
Artificial intelligence and complex automations can make workflows much faster by automating tasks that were previously done manually. They can also reduce error rates, help sales teams follow up with leads, and basically offer an extra set of hands to just about every department.
Digitize Your Office with the Right Smart Technology
Technology is only smart if it is integrated properly with your business objectives and workflows. Technology Visionaries has a team of smart tech experts who can help you zero in on the tools that will make the biggest difference to your efficiency and bottom line.
Contact us today for a free Smart Technology Consultation for your office! Call 732-587-5960 or reach us online.