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The Definitive Guide: Using IT services to improve productivity

Every company is on the hunt for greater productivity. But productivity is not only hard to achieve … it’s hard to maintain, too. This is because things like the Productivity Paradox exist — a paradox that asks the question:

As technology advances, does productivity advance with it?

Maybe. Maybe not. It all depends on how you’re using technology, whether you’re using the right technology, and how you’re measuring that productivity.

To steer you in the right direction, we’ve outlined a series of IT services and technology tips that are guaranteed to keep your productivity on the rise.

Our complete guide to IT services covers:

IT services reduce productivity stalls

If you’re working with a computer that saw its last update in 2015, then lulls, glitches, and the dreaded black screen of death are most likely regulars at your office. And if this is the case, downtime is probably pretty common, too.

Unfortunately, most people are quick to write off the importance of healthy technology. They believe a little downtime during the day is better than a large investment to purchase new technology.

But that’s a backward way of looking at things.

Downtime adds up and can end up costing your business much more than it’s willing to pay. In fact, the latest downtime stat to rock the business world suggests that a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000. And that’s just one hour of downtime. Not even a total annual figure.

So let’s say your team collectively experiences an hour of IT-related downtime every month (broken computers, printer issues, data corruption, server malfunctions, etc.). That number will cost you over $1 million by the end of the year. And we’re being nice. The average company sees well more than a collective hour of IT-related downtime every month.

So what’s the fix?

IT support. You need an IT outlet. But not just one that provides helpdesk support and calls it a day — one that actually handles your technology proactively.

In other words, you need a permanent solution for ongoing hardware and software maintenance, updates, and upgrades.

For this to happen, you either need someone dedicated to this internally or you need a managed IT services provider.

Take a look at The IT battle of the decade: Break-fix IT versus Managed Services to explore the benefits of a managed IT services provider.

The right tech increases productivity

Are you using software solutions that actually complement how your team works? Are you using equipment that truly supports what you do every day? Do you even understand how to use the technology you do have?

Related: 5 additions for an all-around better workday

If not, you’re walking a fine line that leads to anywhere but productivity.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Leverage an IT consultant to get a big picture look at your technology. A consultant can help you understand where technology is hurting your company, what would work better for you, and how to efficiently use what you have. They can lead you to best-fit IT services and technology solutions.
  • If you’ve given them the tool, then show them how to use it. Train your employees on the ins and outs of your company’s tech and give them the knowledge they need to be productive with that technology. Cultivate a corporate culture that encourages training and communication.
  • Stay up-to-date with technology trends. An IT consultant can help with this, but at the end of the day, it’s your company’s responsibility to remain tech-savvy. The better you can do this, the more likely you are to find and use technology that keeps you productive.

Related: 5 Google Chrome tricks for better browsing

Mobility keeps productivity seamless

It’s important to understand that technology (and productivity, for that matter) doesn’t begin and end at the office. Good technology keeps your productivity seamless and lets you carry it from place to place to place. In other words, it’s mobile.

The advances in mobile technology, in particular, are impressive. Especially when you consider that it’s only been a decade since the first iPhone came out — a time when mobile technology was all but nonexistent.

But now, we’re handling work projects inside smartphone apps, communicating with remote coworkers across the country, using digital assistants to organize our days, quickly transferring large files from person to device to person, and managing data at 5G speeds.

While wireless solutions have an awful lot to do with this, the cloud also has its hands in the mobile pot.

Without the cloud, working from anywhere would be mostly impossible. Whenever you’re out of the office, you wouldn’t have real-time access to data, files, or business apps, and you’d be forced to work out of your inbox.

Here’s how the cloud changes things:

  • Cloud IT services give you real-time access to the data and tools you need to work from anywhere. This can keep you productive when you’re not physically at the office. In fact, it might keep you more productive.
  • The cloud keeps your software and applications up-to-date at all times. This means you’re always working with the most recent version of something — which helps you maintain your productivity, as well as your ability to compete.
  • Cloud computing reduces your need for on-site equipment. As a result, you can reduce your need for maintenance and streamline IT management — which means you can invest more of your time in the right places. AKA, staying productive.
  • The cloud is able to “take on and interpret vast amounts of data” from the IoT. It can realistically take and store all the raw data produced by connected devices and give you the opportunity to transform that data into useful information. Check out The Beginner’s Guide to the IoT to learn more about how this technology works.

Related: What is a private cloud and what are the benefits?

Final thoughts

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Productivity through technology goes much further than these initial shifts. Not to mention, technology isn’t the only thing that keeps productivity alive.

Nonetheless, this should be a pretty good starting point. But if you’re not sold, check out 8 reasons bad technology is hurting your business.