Monday, 5 November 2012

GUEST BLOG: How are businesses cutting costs whilst improving productivity?

Thousands of organisations are focused on cutting costs, but how are they able to do so whilst maintaining, and even improving productivity?
Millions of us are afraid of change, which makes many of us averse to using new technology, especially in the workplace. But the proven fact is new technology in the workplace is the main contributor of cutting costs, improving productivity, and even speeding up the decision making process.

Business magnate, Richard Branson, recently quoted: “Anyone who thinks new technology isn’t going to keep changing the world has got their head in the sand.”  I know what many of you are thinking: Richard Branson is a multi-billionaire, and for him the initial cost of implementing new technology into the workplace is a mere drop in the ocean.

For business owners and budget handlers, yes new technology can be costly, and no it’s extremely unlikely you’ll generate an ROI within the first six to twelve months. But even in these tough economic times, is your business roadmap really only twelve months? If you are just ‘ticking along’ and your capital expenditure has halted, it is definitely time to get your head out of the sand. If you are not prepared to invest in new collaborative technology solutions, then you best stop aspiring to be successful. Sound harsh? It is, but it’s the truth!

So what technology are businesses using to cut costs?
One area businesses are focused on is travel expenditure. Fuel, accommodation, flights, etc. How do businesses reduce travel expenditure and remain productive? Now you’ll be forgiven for turning your head away when you read the words “Video conferencing”. Perhaps those words will remind you of a meeting many years ago when you participated in a video call which was visually and audibly poor. You left the room thinking “I hope I never have to take part in a video call ever again.” Well as some of you will have already experienced, video conferencing technology is now a must have business tool and has been deployed across thousands of organisations. Bandwidth restrictions are less challenging, and face-to-face video communication is now delivered in high definition.

Organisations are using the technology for internal and external communication. Rather than travelling five hundred miles for a meeting, of which 90% of the time spent traveling is non-productive and incurs fuel and accommodation costs, businesses are choosing to conduct meetings over video. Both time and money is saved, and it causes little disruption to an individual’s working day.

Businesses are communicating with clients, partners and suppliers over video. Many of the most successful organisations will refuse to develop partnerships unless each party has adopted the use of video collaboration technology. It’s more personal and up to 70% more productive than a telephone call, mainly a result of facial expressions and hand gestures.
Video communication is more affordable than ever with desktop and cloud based offerings, which cause little strain on IT departments as well as offer interoperability, which ensures face-to-face communication between two or more people irrespective of video device.
Cost-cutting for your business takes serious consideration, as does devising a business development plan. However failing to include collaborative technology in your development plan may as well be a plan to fail.

This guest blog has been written by Joel Noden who is marketing manager at Business Travel Show exhibitor Videonations

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