May 19, 2020

Technology: The Future of Business in Canada

Business
Canada
Technology
Communication
Joyce Morse
3 min
Technology: The Future of Business in Canada

Innovative technology makes it easier for Canadian businesses to communicate with customers and employees in an efficient and effective way.

Mobile devices allow communication to happen anytime, anywhere. This ensures that organizations stay current on important news and handle customer issues in a timely manner.

GPS-tracking Devices

GPS-tracking devices have become an essential part of many people's lives. They are also an effective tool for businesses in many ways.

Adventure companies often use them when they lead tours in remote areas. They can maintain communication with the central station and receive help immediately if a rescue is needed.

These devices are also essential for businesses that send out workers to remote jobsites. Many of them use the latest technology.

For instance, a Canadian construction company may use an app that allows them to monitor a worker's position by checking in to a secure website.

The worker has downloaded an app to his or her phone that responds to movement. It relays information about the person's whereabouts and makes it easy to send a signal for help.

In fact, some of these devices even send out an alert for inactivity, often saving someone's life if they are injured and unable to call for help.

Text Messaging

Technology is also important in business-to-customer communication.

Companies use it to send promotions and offers or to interact with customers and provide the latest updates.

For example, restaurants send out text messages about their daily specials once a customer signs up to receive them. Because people must opt in to get text messages, this method of communication has a high read rate.

Colleges and universities are also using text messaging to update potential students on the latest happenings on campus.

By making prospects feel like a part of the student body, they increase the chance that the student will choose to attend that college or university.

Any business can utilize the convenience and timeliness of text messaging to get their message out to customers.

Using the Right Communications Methods

As the article Is Your Company Communicating Like It Should? points out, businesses must provide employees with the communications tools they need to effectively do their jobs.

For those with direct contact to customers, it may be multiple methods. Some customers prefer face-to-face or over the phone communication while others respond to emails or text messages.

Web conferencing has become more popular not only with internal communication but with certain external uses as well. It can be a timely way to communicate via a web cam with vendors or even certain customers.

Many organizations even use social media as one of their communication methods.

Since their customers are already spending time on their favorite networks, it is an easy and effective way to provide the most up to date information.

Most businesses today don't just use one method of communicating with customers or employees.

They are utilizing the latest advances in technology to stay in contact in the way that is the most convenient, cost-effective and responsive.

 

About the Author: Joyce Morse is an author who writes on a variety of topics, including business and technology.

 

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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