We Will Collaborate More Effectively
To illustrate, the age-old practice of emailing documents to others for review and revision is outdated. Instead, we can take advantage of collaboration tools to enable simultaneous, multi-user collaboration. For instance, we can use the co-authoring feature in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint to collaborate on common Microsoft Office documents. Likewise, we can use Adobe’s Creative Cloud to enable collaboration too. Further, tools and platforms such as Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, and Zoho One provide excellent collaboration options. No matter the technology used, recognize the benefits of collaboration. A recent Forrester report indicated that team members save almost two hours per week using collaboration tools. No matter the type of business you are in, seek out opportunities to improve collaboration in 2021.
Information Security Will be a Part of Everything We Do
Information security must become an integral part of each of our businesses. A single security incident – such as a ransomware attack – could cost millions in remediation expenses and perhaps more in reputation damage. Further, with ever-expanding data privacy laws and regulations, fines for non-compliance could cripple organizations of all sizes. To address these threats, resolve to make information security a fundamental part of every activity in your organization. Among other actions, encrypt all your data, and mandate multi-factor authentication wherever possible. Consider adopting a “zero trust” security model to minimize risk. Above all, train every team member on identifying and responding to the dangers that will inevitably arise. The issue of information security is not going to disappear, so address it now and ensure that all business processes incorporate appropriate security measures and all data remains secure.
Equip Work From Home Team Members Appropriately
In addition to addressing hardware issues and fast and secure internet connections, also carefully consider issues such as desks and chairs. Remember, employers typically have a responsibility to ensure that team members have the equipment they need to get their jobs done efficiently and safely. In most cases, workers’ compensation laws still apply, even if a team member works from home. Hence, it remains necessary to address workstation setup and safety measures, including those related to ergonomics. Further, do not let relatively inexpensive technology expenditures hamper productivity. For example, purchasing an inexpensive scanner or other hardware devices may pay big dividends in increased productivity for team members working from home or other remote locations.
We Will Leverage Our Investment in Existing Technologies to Improve Efficiency
One of the biggest reasons for this failure is that most organizations have not committed to training their team members to use the tools provided or discover some of the newer features in core applications. For example, although almost all accounting and financial professionals use Excel daily, they do not know how to work with data models, create formulas based on dynamic arrays, utilize Flash Fill, or perform “what-if analysis” using Solver. Thus, tasks take longer than necessary, and results are often not as precise as needed. For 2021, commit to leverage the investment already made in core technologies such as Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat DC, and Windows 10. Incredible improvements in accuracy and efficiency await!
Our Team Will Adopt New Technologies to Improve Productivity
But do not stop with RPA! Consider how you can use other technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve productivity. For example, is there a role for artificial intelligence to help audit employee expense reports for errors, irregularities, and fraud? Tools available from companies such as AppZen can help you do precisely that, identifying out-of-policy spending and enhancing internal control at the same time. Once considered to be “bleeding-edge” technologies, these tools are now mainstream and offer new productivity plateaus.
Make 2021 your best year yet by becoming more knowledgeable, efficient, and secure when working with technology. You can do so by participating in the various learning opportunities we make available. To learn more, please click here or visit https://www.k2e.ca/training.html