Reprinted from a Lingotek article originally published on IT Briefcase
Automation, cloud technology, and mobile business solutions are the latest tech tools in the corporate arsenal for streamlining operations, improving efficiency, and holding the line on skyrocketing costs. The proliferation of content management systems (CMS), customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and integrated applications reflect the widespread belief that companies who embrace innovative business tools will gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Adopting new technology is key to keeping your business operating at peak efficiency, but all the innovation in the world isn’t going to move your business forward if you’re still stuck using old-school manual processes to manage these disparate systems.
There are three notorious productivity killers that can wreak havoc on your workflow if not done right: back and forth testing, relying on spreadsheets for your analytics, and constantly pushing around content. If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to upgrade your business processes by integrating your existing automation.
Productivity Killer #1: Back & forth testing
The slow, inefficient process of shipping code over to an operations team for testing is a big time waster. Eliminate the back and forth required for testing, deployment, and returning to dev teams for fixing. It takes precious time away from more important revenue-generating activities like developing new programs.
Solution: Automate & integrate dev and ops
Automating and integrating your processes can break down the wall of inefficiency between developers and ops staff. Agile, continuous integration platforms like Github, let companies– large and small–take advantage of version control to avoid the domino-effect of cascading tasks. Another advantage of automation: the ability to clear caches and perform server restarts can further streamline testing.
Productivity Killer #2: Using spreadsheets for data review
If you’re using Excel spreadsheets and your data analysis consists of looking at charts and graphs shared in PowerPoint presentations, you’re killing your productivity. By the time you created that beautiful chart, it’s already old news. Leave number crunching to the machines, they’re faster and more accurate. It will also free up time for thinking of creative ways to improve those numbers.
Solution: Take advantage of data analytics software
Automation puts all the data you will ever need at your fingertips. Switch to systems that are fully equipped to give you data on your key business functions: customer support (Zendesk), marketing (HubSpot and Marketo), and sales (Salesforce, SugarCRM). Businesses that take advantage of data analytics software will get the insights and information they need to be more strategic and responsive in a competitive marketplace.
Productivity Killer #3: Old-school content sharing
Think about the time you spend creating, sharing, uploading, reviewing, editing, and managing your content. Content-related tasks can burn up several hours each day, especially if you are emailing, waiting for feedback or input, and then revising accordingly in several different applications like PowerPoint, Google Docs, Excel, and Word.
Solution: Automate content development, sharing & storage
There are several ways to automate your content development, sharing, and storage. You can automate content creation, translation, and localization into a CMS workflow using cloud-based platforms. To integrate several types of programs such as Asana or WordPress, use Dropbox. It will help you integrate, automate, and backup information. By linking several different applications together, you can eliminate those time-intensive tasks like emailing, cutting and pasting, and dragging and dropping.
Take a look at your processes and turn your productivity killers into productivity boosters. Automation alone isn’t enough, you have to integrate your automation. By combining and streamlining your CMS, CRM and marketing automation platforms, you’ll have the data, the insight, and–most importantly–the extra time you need to tackle mission-critical, revenue-enhancing projects.
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