Gerhard Hartman, Vice President Sales of Medium Business, Sage Africa & Middle East, explains why the right automated IT system is essential for companies to remain competitive and lead the way.
In today’s complex and fast-moving business environment, organisations simply cannot be competitive, efficient and effective without the right automated IT systems in place. The volumes of data are too high, the speed of regulatory change is too fast, and the expectations of customers are too high to be catered to by spreadsheets and other manual methods.
An organisation that does not automate will soon find itself operating without visibility into its business and tied in knots by the red tape. Sage research has shown that globally companies lose 5.27% of total time to administrative tasks. That’s aside from the dangers of human error creeping into processes and of not having up-to-the-minute info at one’s fingertips.
As such, the business case for automation is clear, whether we are referring to accounting and payroll, marketing, production or inventory management. An automated system can take care of the grunt work that humans might find dull or repetitive, or that they cannot do as quickly and accurately as a machine.
These benefits of automation are well understood: the power of computer systems to increase productivity cut costs and improve profit margins. However, it’s equally important to consider how intuitive, flexible IT systems can contribute towards a more positive employee experience for the workforce.
Automation can do much of the process work that most humans find tedious – shifting the emphasis to work that requires insight, creativity, empathy, entrepreneurial thinking, problem-solving and interpersonal skills. This lets people focus on things they can do better than machines – and the sort of work that most people find more rewarding.
Efficient technology systems can also empower the workforce in other ways. With the right tech in their hands, people will be happier at work because they have the tools they need to be effective. Solutions such as videoconferencing and cloud apps can enable new modes of collaboration, clearing the way for people to work remotely or for global teams to work together effectively.
Employee self-service, meanwhile, enables organisations to automate more of their HR processes, giving employees a better experience with the company, with more transparency and control over their information. HR can use the data generated by these interactions to create more personalised experiences and value propositions for their people.
Technology also has an important part to play in the relationships between companies and external partners. In our industry, for example, vendors and the channel are coming under growing pressure to embrace Digital Transformation. This means vendors need to look at opportunities such as one-touch digital support for their partners and joint digital sales and marketing programs.
We believe that every reseller needs to get ready for a cloud-first IT industry. They should partner with vendors that can offer them innovative cloud technologies, a robust partner ecosystem and partner programs that are designed around the needs of the digital era.
After all, vendors and resellers cannot expect their customers to embrace digital technologies if they aren’t leading the way.