How businesses can get more productive with technology

The slightest technological competitive advantage can go a long way in cultivating a more productive work environment.
7 May 2019

There’s tech that can back your productivity. Source: Shutterstock

Evolving consumer needs and behavior, ubiquitous computing, and most importantly, globalization, are fuelling the need for greater productivity.  

In the UK, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is encouraging more businesses to “be more magpie” by leveraging and investing in technologies that will help them adapt to and excel in today’s evolving business environment.

A solid IT infrastructure is the key to business productivity. That’s one reason digital transformation (DX) often starts in the IT department. DX is the process of utilizing technology to solve traditional problems, and can be leveraged to digitize business workflows so workforces can focus on more conductive projects.

DX spending is expected to reach US$1.7 trillion by the end of 2019. So, where exactly should you begin your DX? If you’re looking to catalyze your business’ overall productivity through DX, check out these four IT ‘must have’ technologies.  

# 1 | Harnessing the potential of AI

The need for real-time centralized IT analytics is growing by the day, and artificial intelligence (AI) makes it easier for decision-makers to view meaningful insights and relationships from a sea of processed data.

AI has a lot to offer IT, including automated help desk operations, real-time insights about potential security incidents, conversational assistance for efficient help desk request management, and predictive analysis providing pre-emptive solutions to user problems.

AIOps leverages big data and machine learning (ML) techniques to build data relationships and data models for effective analysis. In other words, AIOps enables IT teams to build a faster, self-learning ITOps infrastructure that can provide pre-emptive insights and root cause analysis for future events.

Gartner has predicted that around 50 percent of enterprises will employ AIOps by 2020 to provide insights for both business process workflows and IT operations, which is far higher than the 10 percent employing it today.

# 2 | Utilizing a multi-cloud strategy

Organizations continue to direct their IT assets and workflows to a hodgepodge of cloud services, which—according to a study by 451 Research—provides lucrative opportunities to players in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) industries.

For the most part, a multi-cloud strategy proves to be a boon for enterprises looking to achieve business agility. Enterprises have the freedom to pick and choose where to deploy certain workloads, thereby circumventing the risk of locking into a vendor that imposes data migration restrictions, or requires reconfiguring applications.

This approach also ensures data sovereignty, compliance, and availability by deploying the right workloads in the right environment. It also allows enterprises to distribute their applications and services geographically, ensuring better quality of service to their target audiences. After all, you need to know your audience in order to build products they’ll love.

# 3 | Embracing centralized control

Managing virtual and physical endpoints is an ongoing challenge for many IT teams. Global organizations are marching toward a centralized approach to manage, control, and secure diverse endpoints using a unified console. This approach is called unified endpoint management (UEM).

With asset footprints growing by the minute, you can develop a UEM strategy to centralize endpoint controls, automate routine tasks like device scanning and patching, and improve overall security.

Often, the easiest, most effective strategies rely on a UEM solution. So, when you’re ready to invest in a UEM solution for your business, make sure it checks all the important boxes, such as inventory and patch management, remote configuration and provisioning, asset life cycle management, automated workflows, and user self-service.

# 4 | Developing a cybersecurity strategy

In order to build an effective cybersecurity strategy, enterprises need to use a blend of both proactive and reactive approaches. With well-thought-out security procedures, controls, and solutions in place, enterprises will have better chances of pre-empting and containing disasters in the event of an attack.

Cybercriminals are constantly changing their attack strategies, so it’s important for businesses to detect and pre-empt attacks by learning from past oversights and real-time insights.

Proactive measures include continuous risk assessments, stringent access management policies for business applications, contingency plans, vulnerability testing, and more. Similarly, enterprises can educate their workforces about the best cybersecurity practices for staying ahead of threats.

Proactive measures are important, but reactive measures are crucial, too. Performing a root-cause analysis after an attack will help identify the weaknesses that allowed the attack to happen in the first place. Also, with the GDPR and other security regulations in place, organizations are required to report breaches when they happen while taking steps to mitigate and minimize the risks of future breaches, such as relevant patching, risk assessment, and other business continuity plans.

The UK’s latest Industrial Strategy highlights the importance of embracing today’s technology to focus on productivity and boost performance—all from an IT perspective. This only translates into the fact that, in the business IT atmosphere, even the slightest technological competitive advantage can go a long way in cultivating a more productive work environment.

This article has been contributed by Srilekha Sankaran, Product Consultant at ManageEngine.