Is your business technologically efficient?
As a business owner, what are your greatest concerns in 2014?
Among the challenges facing those who run companies nationwide is finding affordable healthcare for employees, keeping dependable workers on board when they might look to jump ship for better salaries and benefits, and maintaining data security in a world where hacking incidents have become all too familiar.
Now, where would you rank maintaining your company’s operating technology efficiency among the challenges you face owning a business?
Unfortunately, too many running companies overlook the importance of staying up to speed on the latest technology to effectively run their operations.
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Don’t cut corners on technology
One of the perfect examples of this dilemma is not spending enough money on technology, something that many business owners fail to comprehend.
That said, according to a Gartner Inc. forecast, spending worldwide in 2014 is estimated to come to a total of nearly $4 trillion. If that holds true, it will be more than a 3 percent jump in such spending from just a year ago.
With that in mind, will you be one of the businesses increasing your IT budget this year? Or, will you stand pat or even decrease how much you put towards technology?
Areas to focus on
If this is the year to spend more time and perhaps more dollars on your business IT efforts, what are some areas to look at?
Among some to consider:
1. Mobile payments– If you’re not already offering mobile payments for your customers, you are very likely losing out on a substantial amount of prospective revenue. As more and more consumers abandon traditional shopping methods for faster and more convenient buying options, making mobile payments available can only help your business;
2. VoIP – As a business owner, do you take time to see how efficient your employees are both in and out of the office when it comes to customer service, meetings, conferences and more? With the right VoIP solutions, your company can increase worker efficiency, decrease the costs for long distance calling, and integrate multiple functions all at once. For your employees that are on the road and/or telecommute, VoIP is a great option for conference calling and keeping everyone on the same page with company initiatives;
3. Videos– Lastly, how much time and money do you invest in video technology? With the right video packages, your company can promote your brand and bring a visual presence to your products and services. Whether it is through in-house productions that are posted to YouTube or your own website or hiring an outside video production company, never underestimate the power of video.
As a business owner, is 2014 the year you see an uptick in your technology efforts and expenditures?
If not, will you ultimately end up on the outside looking in when it comes to adding more customers and increasing revenue?
About the author
Dave Thomas covers an array of website topics, among which include marketing, social media, and technology.
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
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.