For both established companies and the growing startup one of the primary factors in ensuring future prosperity is how flexible you can make your business to change and adapt to shifting trends.
The days of slowly moving patterns in work are long gone and now, when a ‘Change Storm’ hits, it hits hard and fast leaving the slow and cumbersome dazed in its wake.
Flexibility is an issue traditionally focused on the non-corporeal elements of a company, like the business plan, where adaptation is a necessary factor for stable growth. Where most business tend to fall down, and potentially one of the most problematic, is ensuring that their staff and the infrastructure to support them are as adaptable as the ethos of the company itself. Utilising I.T. efficiently and effectively, and being open to changing how day to day operations are performed, can give a solid foundation to any business.
The traditional office model hasn’t significantly shifted in probably 40 or 50 years. Prior to the ‘electronic computer’, human computers (the original meaning of the word) would sit at desks processing information with a pen and paper, be it accounts, sales information or any of the other myriad pieces of information necessary to the running of a business. Now electronic computers are the ubiquitous piece of desktop equipment but we still have rows upon rows of people sat at desks processing data- all that’s changed is the quantity of data that can be dealt with in a day. Relatively cheap and easy to maintain, the desktop is the workhorse of I.T. There have been various iterations, Small-Form, Mini and Ultra-Mini but ultimately what you are left with is a member of staff attached to a black box attached to a desk.
Mobile Technology is the answer to this and offers possibilities that you might never have considered. One of the easiest changes is to make the move to laptops with hotdesk docking stations. Laptops have rapidly become the device of choice for home users wanting to be able to surf the internet while sitting on the sofa and so the speed and overall quality of laptops has grown in recent years to produce reliable and fast machines able to work comparably against desktop machines in most benchmark tests. Pairing these with docking stations means an individual can sit at any desk, plug in the laptop and use any attached screens and peripherals as if they were using a desktop while still fully connected to work networks and servers. If they and their files are needed elsewhere it’s simply a case of disconnecting the dock and standing up.
Equally so tablets and smart phones have rapidly gained ground in response to growing consumer demand. With software suites like Microsoft Office 365 now being available for subscription across multiple devices, twinned with cloud data and the spread of publicly available free wi-fi, it’s rapidly becoming possible to take the ‘office’ out of the office and operate a business almost anywhere.
Flexibility shouldn’t be about reacting to change after it’s happened and minimising its impact. It should be about pre-empting the shift, establishing the plan now and taking advantage of what’s going to happen to make it help, not hinder, your business. Contact us to find out how we can help you prepare your business.