It’s a fact: employees lose hours of productivity per year due to various computer issues. C-level managers rarely hear about these problems from the rank & file and the HR department typically doesn’t insert themselves into technology discussions. But when work is delayed because of a spinning disc on the screen, those hours add up to thousands of dollars each year.
When is the last time you took the temperature of how the staff interacts with your technology? Do you ask the staff how they perceive the computers and applications? In many businesses the technology support group has little opportunity to share this information with the C-suite for a variety of reasons: the fix is difficult to find and repair, the costs may be hard to quantify and other projects may take priority.
It is important to ask the hard questions about every aspect of your technology investments.
Often the entire office will use multiple work-arounds to solve the problem but this doesn’t cure the root of the issue—which may continue to get worse as time goes by. Employees may not realize that well-managed technology doesn’t behave like this. I have heard people say “Oh it’s always been that way” in a tone that implies they are resigned to ongoing technology failures.
Here are several typical situations where technology causes a reduction in productivity and profit:
Slow internet – Connectivity drags for a number of reasons and, unfortunately, can happen at inopportune times. If you rely on internet uptime to drive your revenue it is imperative to have a second provider as a backup. It is unlikely that both vendors will have the same problem at the same time so having a second option allows you to switch to the one that is working properly.
Mismatched or error prone applications – Older applications that no longer fit the business processes can reduce productivity. Many times there are complex “work arounds” that build up over time and slow the execution of important functions. Often errors occur when performing common tasks which slows the completion of the final work product.
Slow infrastructure – Too many businesses have outdated switches, firewalls and servers. This can reduce every data request and transmission speeds by upward to 42%. Imagine your entire business operating like a “slow motion” movie. When slow speed becomes the norm hardly anyone really notices this snail’s pace until the sluggish infrastructure is upgraded.
Lost files – Your business has a backup approach that appears to work well, but when is the last time it was tested? Whether your backup is on premises or in the Cloud and whether it is managed by your staff or an outside vendor, it is important to be absolutely certain it is regularly tested. With the rapid increase in cybersecurity breaches, the failure to have a current and rapidly available backup will put your business into serious risk. I recently heard about a company that was hit by ransomware and was faced with the decision of either paying the ransom or turning to their backup Their support vendor hadn’t tested the backup in years and it turned out the data was incomplete. How quickly would your company recover from a loss of data?
To maximize productivity and increase revenue, it is important to ask the hard questions about every aspect of your technology investments. Verify that the technology investments you make produce profit and are not a source of frustration and lost time.