When we think of technology, we often think of futuristic flying cars, artificial intelligence, and robot delivery services. However, the truth is, we’ve been developing technology for as long as we’ve had the wheel, and integrating that technology into our workflows for just as long. The abacus was replaced by the calculator, which is now being replaced by spreadsheets and machine learning programs.
Nevertheless, the modern definition of technology usually involves digital equipment and processes, and that’s what we’ll be referring to here. That’s because global IT spending was projected to reach $4.6 trillion in 2023, while Zippia reports that the tech industry makes up 35% of the world’s market. Tech is infiltrating most aspects of daily life, whether we like it or not. So why not make technology integration work for you?
Below are seven benefits of integrating the aforementioned types of technology into your workflow.
Better Workflow Coordination
If there’s one thing that the integration of technology in the workplace has benefitted, it’s the coordination of workflow. For example, unified communications platforms can provide a centralized solution for keeping your employees informed, no matter where they are. Whether all your employees are on the same job site, in the office, working from home, or a combination of all three, tech tools can help keep coordination strong and collaboration up.
Some of these tools include Slack, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx, allowing for text and video communication between employees in real time for virtually any industry. Project management software solutions like Trello and Asana are also versatile platforms that can be used in virtually any field. On the other end of the spectrum, there are also industry-specific platforms and even construction-specific collaboration solutions you might want to look into depending on your specific trade.
Improved Data Analysis
Workflow integration results in improved data analysis, which is essentially the foundation for many projects across multiple disciplines. Automation and other tech provide more accurate information as a result of the elimination of human error. This accuracy of information, in turn, results in better-informed decision-making, heightened efficiency, and even more accurate resource allocation. Mostly, accurate analytics can help create and solidify future projections.
Better Future Projections
Data analysis is the bedrock for future projections, and professionals are using data-driven projections every day to dial in on the details and predict success. In virtually every industry you can pull figures and analytics related to supply and demand, labor and resources, and other changes specific to that industry.
Construction is a great example. A good foundation is essential to the success of a building, and this isn’t just a metaphor. That’s why general technologies such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing solutions work so well with industry-specific solutions like certain types of takeoff and estimating software. This includes solutions for professionals to project material costs for:
When you can predict exactly how a project’s budget and processes will play out, you’ll be better prepared to put money aside for potential snags, and even better at identifying those snags before they happen. You can’t hit a target unless you’re able to see it, and technology that simplifies the workflow helps you realistically visualize that target.
Simplified Document and Database Management
If you haven’t already digitized your database and document management system, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Besides the fact that your overhead for physical storage would be through the roof in comparison, the inability to back up these figures, documents, and other data represents a major security flaw. Beyond these essential points, simplified document and database management tools and tech can help workflow immensely.
Digital documents and data mean ease of retrieval for all of your employees, no matter where they are. On top of that, the fact that these files are all centralized means nothing will get lost, and the documents you’re working with will always be easily identifiable as either the correct or incorrect version.
People have lives outside of work, but tools that provide real-time updates can run 24/7. That means that you’ll have timely information whenever it becomes available, whether that’s during operating hours or otherwise.
Response times to issues can be cut down drastically, as automated push notifications can be set up to alert users when an action needs to be taken or a process has been completed.
Reduction of Human Error
In the simplest of terms, the digitization of workflow provides better accuracy because machines can do the simplest tasks more accurately than a human can. This is why many people prefer to use calculators rather than do math in their heads.
Workflow tech integration is often synonymous with the automation of processes and tasks. Beyond the obvious addition and subtraction of figures, automated data entry and report generation, for example, will result in far fewer errors than if a human were to complete the same tasks.
Improved Task Tracking
Certain task-tracking tools and technology can help improve organization, collaboration, and project management. Managers and higher-ups can assign projects and tasks to individual workers and contributors, set priorities among those assignments, and post them with clear deadlines so that tasks get done on time.
Most of these task-tracking tools use a public board or system so everybody in the organization (who has been granted access) can see what everybody else is doing, granting clear visibility between entire teams and departments.