In an ever-changing world with new distinctive economic challenges, the demand for you to do more with less has never been greater.
In the little over 18 years, we have been in business, we have never seen a situation quite as dynamic as this one. The fabric of human society changing at break-neck speed, followed by snap Government decisions coming with little notice; has certainly kept us all in the commercial world on our toes.
But what if now is an opportune moment to take stock of the operations of your business and proactively make changes that will allow you to be more agile and capable, while operating with ‘less’?
By less, we mean leaner resources – whether that’s traditional physical infrastructure (such as your office premises or IT backbone infrastructure assets), or your people and processes (getting more in efficiencies out of what they do in their daily workflow).
What steps to take?
We have been busy helping our clients across the financial services sector maintain excellence in their service delivery, while transitioning to a new world of working. By leveraging technology in the right way, businesses can diminish their reliance on traditional physical infrastructure, and not only in many cases decrease cost, but drive efficiency to get more out of fewer resources.
Extract value by optimising your IT setup
Transition to the Cloud
Physical IT infrastructure, such as servers, firewalls and networking equipment in your office, in most use cases, can entirely be evaporated to the cloud; freeing up space, reducing maintenance overheads and even cutting your energy consumption.
Many of the financial services tools; whether accounting, investment and portfolio, or documentation management platforms, have a cloud-based version or can easily be hosted in a cloud server environment of your own – just as you may do within your office servers now.
Investing in this transition will have more than just cost benefits; Cloud services will provide you with an unrivalled level of agility and flexibility, and are at the heart of a lean IT operation permitting your team to truly work from anywhere, while being able to maintain strong lines of communication and collaboration.
Efficiencies need not only come in the tools that you use, but within your process workflows and the day to day tasks conducted by your team.
A great example is data entry; we so often see a duplication of where the entry of various forms of data are concerned – typically cross-entry between two disparate systems, which could see subsequent data entry points being automated, or even the entire process becoming automated by using scan-in technology to read and process or store data from emails or paper documentation.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an increasingly popular area of technology that drives productivity gains by ‘automating away’ repetitive tasks that have little value in themselves.
This is not as daunting or as expensive to implement as you might think. Services such as Microsoft PowerApps are available within most typical cloud deployments within Microsoft’s 365 / Office 365 productivity suite of cloud services.
An office at home
Remote working has been proven to increase productivity, create a better work-life balance, improve employee retention, and reduce absence rates. To get the most out of a home-working workforce however you may have to invest in fit-for-purpose technology.
> The computers that your team use – are they ‘BYOD’ (bring-your-own-device) or are they company provided? We strongly recommend and prefer company provided devices [COPE – Company provided, personally enabled]. BYOD is the easy option, but we believe should only be used as a last resort because the inherent vulnerabilities and complexities to maintaining security they pose
> Is the device current and performing well enough for the task at hand? Old and outdated machines will hinder productivity or inadvertently prove insecure if operating with older versions of unsupported software or operating systems.
> Do your team have a suitable and professional working environment at home to solidly perform, while remaining comfortable for a normal working day?
> What about connectivity? Are your team well connected on a stable and fast internet connection?
> Communications too – do your people have access to a high-quality webcam and a headset (with a microphone) to hold video and voice conferences?
A proactive IT Partner
As you are looking to not only make a change to the technology tools, but come out of this process having stepped-up your productivity and performance, having the right proactive partner to help you see through this transition is pivotal.
Within the right IT partner, you should consider whether they understand your industry sector – do they appreciate your day to day workflow? Your compliance challenges? The tools and services used by your team?
The right partner will not only deploy and migrate you to new technology but help you on the way to achieving the best in productivity that is suitable to your specific business process.
What else to consider?
Reputation is everything. If the way you work has changed, but the resources you use have yet to catch up, how does that appear to your clients?
Most businesses have been forced to make rapid changes to their operation by implementing ways of working they were simply not prepared for. Any dip in performance may be forgivable in the short-term but will not be sustainable. Consider how your clients will view any negative changes, however minor, in your day to day work:
> What if you cannot answer or transfer office phone calls easily and quickly?
> Have your team been trained and can they effectively use the tools that they have been provided?
> What if you cannot conduct simple administrative tasks or poorly handle communication and file management?
> What if you appear to have a lack of organisation and accountability?
Where to begin?
Government funding support may help you start the process.
As a part of a raft of funding support out of the COVID-19 situation, the Government are in the process of announcing grant funding specifically to help businesses make efficiency transitions. Grants will become available between £1,000 and £5,000 that could help you do more with less; migrate traditional IT infrastructure to the cloud, improve staff equipment and the home working environment, as well as training to ensure your team get the most out of their new resources.
At Evolve we’re here to help you on this journey. With a wealth of expertise in technology, combined with the insights gained by supporting financial service businesses over a number of years, we are uniquely placed to help you overcome business challenges and transition to doing more, with less.
To help you discover the possibilities of a digital transformation and how grant funding may help, please book a free, no-obligation discovery call with one of our consultants today.