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Digitise for agility, productivity and innovation

Running your own business is a thrill like no other that requires an investment in time and in tech. Digitising your business can create a stable, secure foundation for business development across a range of internal and customer-focused areas that are future-proofed against digital disruption and built to handle the demands of well-connected customers and a mobile workforce.

Maximising opportunity for your business can appear challenging, but digitising your business is a simple solution to increasing productivity and creating opportunity from challenges. What’s more, it can be as simple as…

Expanding connectivity

Connectivity is the cornerstone of a seamless digital structure. Integrating all your functions – security, automation, collaboration and analytics – across your entire business means you can engage customers, empower employees and take advantage of opportunities faster, with more insight and better targeted actions. These opportunities will increase as more and more devices become connected (think watches, fridges and TVs), workplaces ‘relocate’ to digital spaces and businesses take advantage of an always available, always consuming customer base. Connectivity is transforming traditional workplaces, business practices and employee and customer expectations, and is the seismic shift business must embrace in order to remain competitive into the future.

Taming the sea of data

With greater connectivity comes a huge amount of potential opportunity – but only if you can make sense of all that data. With more than 50 billion objects and devices predicted to be connected to the internet by 2020, Australian businesses will have a plethora of data at their fingertips giving them the potential to improve productivity and drive innovation. Transforming data into big ideas for business is half the challenge. Fortunately, clever analytics tools can process and display swathes of information into comprehensible, clear results that can inform and guide business decisions. In fact, the right analytics can mean these decisions can be made with greater accuracy and in less time, giving you the edge over your competition. Utilizing analytics tools to structure data means businesses can enjoy faster time-to-market, greater responsiveness and more impact on their bottom line.

Satisfying savvy digital consumers

These days, everyone is connected, all the time. Customer expectations of the digital experience have soared, and fickle consumers are quick to abandon shopping carts, enquiry forms and webpages. For this reason, delivering your customers a seamless digital experience across multiple channels is essential, as it allows you to secure and maintain loyalty within your business. More than this, satisfying your digitally engaged customers also provides a deeper understanding of their choices and behavior, leading to better insights for future purchasing, product development and offers, which in turn can grow repeat custom, build loyalty and foster your business’ reputation. Many online retailers do this extremely well with sophisticated, personalized direct marketing based on browsing and purchasing histories providing a curated and integrated customer experience that keeps customers engaged and therefore more likely to buy.

High-tech your team

The traditional workplace is slowly entering retirement, gradually being replaced by multi-site spaces, some completely digital, where people connect, collaborate and work. Growth periods can often highlight limitations in how a business’s systems support its workforce: taking notice of pinch-points and moving quickly to find solutions means your business can remain more agile and competitive. A mobile, digital workforce is one that can securely work from anywhere, with anyone. Offering employees greater flexibility can lead to better employee satisfaction and productivity, meaning your business is able to attract and retain the best people. In addition, the right tech can mean your team are better able to interact and engage with customers, reducing response times, increasing efficiencies and upping client satisfaction – all good things for the bottom line.

Finding flexible software solutions

Software frustrations are a big issue in business. In fact, Cisco research found that 73% of Australian business owners and managers find upgrades, subscriptions and licences among the biggest IT headaches. Fast-growing businesses are increasingly turning to Cloud solutions to help them keep pace with their digital demands. The flexible consumption models offered by many cloud solutions eliminate many of the issues usually associated with software, such as forking out for upgrades, fluctuating costs and having too many or too few licences (which are the top three bug-bears of Australian business owners)2. Cloud solutions provide a neat answer to IT woes for many businesses, freeing up time and money to be dedicated to other areas of the business.

Digitising your business will ensure your infrastructure is agile and productive, allowing you to explore new opportunities. For more information, and some advice from experts, why not post an IT project on Cisco.com? With Cisco's most trusted partners available, personalised, specific advice for your business is just a few clicks away.

* http://www.cisco.com/c/en_uk/solutions/internet-of-things/overview.html

* Research conducted by Lonergan Research for Cisco Australia - 1281 Cisco Start - Complete Report 19.01.17

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