November 29, 2021

Enterprise JM

Do the Business

14 Low-Cost, High-Impact Tech Initiatives Any Business Can Benefit From

“Digital transformation” is the mantra in many companies these days, as leaders look to leverage technology to boost productivity and customer happiness, reduce bottlenecks and operating costs, and upgrade their security posture. Still, while large-scale disruption may be the desired goal, many new or small businesses must take an incremental approach when it comes to implementing tech solutions.

Fortunately, there are a number of simple tech solutions that can help businesses manage their workflows, analyze data, improve cybersecurity and more, all at a reasonable cost and without the need for a fully rounded IT team. Below, 14 industry leaders from Forbes Technology Council share their recommendations for low-cost, high-impact IT initiatives businesses that need to start their digital transformations on a smaller scale can leverage.

1. Invest In A Robust CRM

Implement a CRM tool that can standardize your client lists and workflows, automate communications and more. There are many amazing tools that are currently available, including HubSpot, BOOSTR and others. These tools have a low barrier to entry but offer compelling customization opportunities for each organization’s needs. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB

2. Implement Multifactor Authentication

In this age of remote work, implementing multifactor authentication should be at the top of every IT team’s list. Small businesses tend to be laggards in adopting new tech due to the costs of implementation and training. When it comes to MFA, the costs are low and the time to implement is minimal, but the impacts on your security posture are high. Check out Microsoft Authenticator and Google Authenticator, which are free, as well as Duo. – Mike Murphy, IT GOAT


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3. Get Organized With Project Management Tools

With the rise of cost-effective software as a service project management tool sets such as monday.com, JIRA and Trello, businesses can get their tech teams organized in a cost-effective, efficient manner. These toolsets help to prioritize projects and organize an entire team so they can move forward with cohesion to support smart product rollouts. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

4. Check For Service Overlaps

Turn on unutilized services that are included in your existing paid licenses, and reevaluate the use of best-of-breed solutions that may be leading to dual licensing fees. Many platforms offer features that overlap with the services provided by another vendor. An audit to uncover opportunities to consolidate platforms can lead not only to cost savings but also to increased efficiencies in infrastructure and management. – Shaheen Yazdani, Intercept

5. Implement Bots

Bots can be used to automate a number of tasks and can have a huge impact. There are several no-code/low-code bots available in subscription pricing models. This allows you to implement a solution quickly, at a low cost, and then scale and expand based on KPIs and ROI. – Selva Pandian, DemandBlue

6. Leverage Low-Code And No-Code Solutions

Leverage low-code and no-code tools—with them, even non-programmers can quickly become productive. The city of New Orleans used low-code tools to develop a system that allowed people to check their vaccine eligibility online because this was something they needed to move quickly on. Low-code and no-code tools can fill a gap until an enterprise application can be developed. – David Moise, Decide Consulting

7. Explore BI Tools

Business intelligence tools are among the most effective tech tools, no matter the organization. In 24 hours, reports can be easily created that combine internal and external data and display relevant results. BI helped us automatically monitor the pandemic in countries where we do business through reports that correlated Covid cases and economic indicators. With the travel industry disappearing overnight, they allowed us to act fast. – Robert Strzelecki, TenderHut

8. Set Up Scheduling Tools

I am a big fan of tools such as Calendly and HubSpot’s meeting scheduler. They allow people to schedule meetings with you directly based on both parties’ established availability. I have found this saves significant time, makes the process easier for all parties and is a very inexpensive tool to implement. – Steve Taplin, Sonatafy Technology

9. Adopt An Affordable Collaboration Tool

Investing in affordable collaboration tools can bring a high boost to business productivity. The adoption of collaboration/knowledge-management tools such as Slack, Teams and so on can help business teams effectively communicate, track performance and report the critical updates and potential challenges team members may face while working together to achieve common business goals. – Roman Taranov, Ruby Labs

10. Automate Customer Service Tasks

Internal and external customer experience technologies are rapidly transforming how companies engage around products and services. Various technologies, including a simple bot on a website selling products and cognitive-intelligence-enabled digital employees, can perform many of the tasks employees do today. Find a quick win to automate in HR, IT support and/or sales capture—you should see ROI in six to 12 months. – John Walsh, Red Summit Global

11. Use Cloud-Based Data Services

Data capture, classification and indexing services are now available on-demand through the cloud. These services are relatively inexpensive because they avoid the costs associated with hardware and software deployment, system tuning, and other logistical complications, yet the value offered is enormous. Numerous downstream processes become possible once information is unlocked and transformed in this way. – Ron Cogburn, Exela Technologies

12. Train In Agile Processes

Training business and tech teams in agile processes has a relatively low price point, and these techniques can immediately add incremental value to both key business processes and tech development. – Mark Schlesinger, Broadridge Financial Solutions

13. Automate Back-Office And Intelligence Processes

Cognitive technologies are increasingly being used to solve business problems. Broadly speaking, artificial intelligence can support three important business needs: automating business processes (typically back-office administrative and financial activities), gaining insight through data analysis, and engaging with customers. If AI is effectively designed, it will have a high impact with a low implementation cost. – Vinod Yeruva, Tata Communications

14. Develop An Information And Learning Center

Companies should create centralized information repositories to strategically train and inform employees with training materials and other updates. With businesses moving into a more distributed environment, it is critical to have one single place where all internal learning materials are kept. This will give team members access to resources at any given time, from any given place. – David Gasparyan, Phonexa

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2021/09/27/14-low-cost-high-impact-tech-initiatives-any-business-can-benefit-from/