If you've ever introduced new technology into your small business's workflow, you've likely learned that some employees can struggle to adapt if not adequately prepared. While digital natives sort of just "get" technology, some employees may not be as tech savvy. That's why it's important to have a strategy for deploying any fresh equipment.
In the digital age, SMEs need to keep up with the world around them. In its most recent bi-annual Business Monitor survey, MYOB found that Australian small businesses are getting more serious about innovation investment. While buying new computer technology and machinery is common, simply acquiring knowledge through training makes up a large part of innovation spending.
MYOB Chief Technology Officer Simon Raik-Allen says the increasing interest SMEs were showing in technology is encouraging for the economy.
Australian small businesses are getting more serious about innovation investment.
"It's great to see SMEs investing in acquiring knowledge (22 per cent) and employee training (17 per cent). We need to keep adding to our collective skills base to remain relevant and competitive," he said.
Benefits of innovation
Australia Business Review notes that the introduction of new technology to small businesses, such as unified office phone systems, can have significant positive impacts, including reduced costs, improved communications and increased access to new markets. For example, the beauty of a hosted PBX communication system is that very little (if any) physical installation of technology is required. Instead, the phone system is hosted on servers, which are accessed over your regular business internet connection, thereby reducing the heavy cost of equipment and labor.
Getting everyone on board That just leaves one real stepping stone to making the tech a part of your everyday routine - teaching everyone how to use it.
Involving your workforce in the adoption process for any new technology is a smart idea, and keeping them informed every step of the way should minimise any surprises down the line. If your own time is particularly tight, consider training an expert in your upgraded process to help guide their colleagues in the early stages. Some service providers even offer complimentary or paid-for training sessions to help educate employees. For example, Fonality Academy offers new customers on-demand training sessions and live webinars to walk users through the platform.
It's also important to let your employees know how any new equipment or technology will benefit them in their daily routine, as well as the business as a whole. Improving your small business phone systems, for example, can make collaboration between coworkers much more effective, which not only improves business performance overall but makes each individual's communication processes that much easier.
Boosting innovation in your SME is now more important than ever, but its effect can only be maximised if everyone is prepared to adapt.