Technology is revolutionizing everything it touches. From AI to analytics, e-signatures to digital payments, technology is changing the way firms do business. The competitive business environment firms face these days compels them to adopt technological solutions to remain relevant.
While low-level processes have long been automated, we’re beginning to witness the proliferation of automation and machine intelligence in higher-level corporate functions. Indeed, marketing and finance have long lent themselves to automation, but today, there are other, less intuitive areas that technology is revolutionizing.
Here are four business functions that electronic solutions are changing within enterprises.
Corporate governance isn’t the first business function that springs to mind when speaking of important business areas. The workflows within this area are typically restricted to documentation and legal checks. However, the onset of remote work challenged companies, with important personnel scattered around the globe.
As a result, many solutions providers have begun targeting corporate governance as an ideal use case for their products. For instance, when conducting board meetings or financial audits, companies discovered they could not assure data safety when transmitting sensitive documents.
ContractZen, for one, has changed the landscape by providing companies with secure communication channels and simplified document sharing and storage. ContractZen’s solution categorizes documents at a metadata level.
The platform also includes solutions for managing contract process workflows, maximizing the efficiency of meetings and securing business entity documentation files, with e-signatures integrated throughout. This allows teams – legal, financial, boards of directors and more – to search for specific terms and retrieve all documentation that is relevant to the task at hand.
Thus, what was once a corporate function filled with tedious manual labor has been simplified, giving companies ready access into their governance documents and ensuring compliance. ContractZen has also developed virtual datarooms that allow secure data sharing and collaboration between teams.
Firms can now work fully remotely without worrying about adding new infrastructure to secure sensitive data.
Financial functions such as bookkeeping and accounting have always held promise for automation. In the bookkeeping world, automated entry filing and GL reconciliation have been popular targets for electronic solution providers.
As smaller businesses move online, these sophisticated solutions have begun targeting them thanks to their SaaS model. Stripped-down versions of financial apps such as Zoho and Stripe aid businesses with their financial tasks routinely.
However, some companies are combining SaaS with the freemium model to create entirely new businesses. Crunch is a prime example of this phenomenon. On the surface, Crunch markets itself as an accounting solution for small businesses. However, many of its accounting and invoicing tools are free, as long as you stay within certain limitations.
Crunch is a game-changer for UK businesses since they can effectively run their financial departments at zero cost. In turn, once users are onboarded, Wave pushes their payroll and online payment acceptance solutions and charges reasonable fees.
Given the loyalty Crunch builds during the free phase, signing up and integrating everything on a single platform makes sense for a small business. What used to cost multiple employees and separate departments can now be executed for close to free by small businesses.
The first wave of automation manifested in the marketing sphere. Thanks to the intensely data-driven approach the social media giants adopted, marketers were quick to adopt analytics software suites that helped them achieve greater ROI in paid ad performance.
As organic reach on social media began to wane about seven years ago, marketers needed different solutions. Marketing departments went from running and monitoring paid ads to monitoring social media content across various channels, keeping tabs on metrics on all of them, planning new content for social media and blog outlets, coordinating paid media placements, and optimizing existing digital assets for SEO.
This increased workload couldn’t be addressed by hiring more people since much of the work was administrative. For instance, a blog article had to go through ideation, approval, writing, editing, publishing, and promotion. Increasing the number of editors doesn’t mean the article would be delivered earlier.
Tools like CoSchedule’s marketing suite take care of the process-oriented tasks like making sure relevant people on the team are notified when their inputs are needed. The suite also helps marketers gain a bird’s eye view of their collateral and upcoming schedules.
The result is a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use marketing dashboard that helps teams avoid wasting time when creating marketing plans.
Supply chain businesses are unsung heroes that make our world go round. Typically, though, we only hear of them when something goes wrong.
Electronification plays a huge role in ensuring supply chains are always running smoothly. From automated warehouses to lean manufacturing principles, supply chain companies rely on a wide range of electronics.
IoT devices embedded in manufacturing chains generate large volumes of data for analytics. However, collating and analyzing this data is a tough task, and solutions such as Wasp Barcode Technologies‘ inventory management system make it simple.
Small businesses can access enterprise-grade technology and enforce lean principles such as JIT manufacturing and kanban. The result is a smooth supply chain that always accounts for disruption.
Best of all, these solutions reduce costs and increase overall supply chain efficiency.
A world of solutions
Businesses always face challenges, and technology is aiding them to overcome them efficiently. While the above four business functions have experienced technological input, several other business functions are opening up to electronification. It remains to be seen the extent to which technology will revolutionize business.