If you’re looking for advanced technology examples and how they can help your business in a practical way, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve done a roundup for you of the following 5 advanced technology examples that are changing the business environment:
- Robotic process automation (RPA)
- Document data extraction
- Workflow tools
- AI assistants
- Low-code applications
With more SMBs looking to implement some form of advanced technology into their organizations than ever before, decision makers are left wondering which solutions are right for their business moving forward.
Advanced technology is a valuable asset to growing companies of all sizes.
Whether it’s a more efficient workflow or automated customer service, virtually every aspect of a business can be positively affected by improving technology in an organization.
Its importance is such that 85% of decision makers say they have two years to have moved forward significantly with their digital transformation strategies or risk falling behind competitors
Fortunately, the following advanced technology examples are more affordable now for small businesses than they’ve ever been, and organizations are pursuing them more fervently in order to stay competitive—across all industries.
Naturally, different businesses have different needs.
When we work with clients, the roadmap we build for them will vary depending on what their priorities are, what their budget is, and the implementation timeline.
Let’s take a look at five advanced technology examples which are keeping SMBs competitive in their digital transformations.
1. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic process automation (RPA) is an excellent example of advanced technology for SMBs.
Automated bots are excellent at carrying out repetitive jobs much faster and with much more precision than human counterparts.
Bots are pieces of software specifically configured to perform particular tasks, like data entry; supply chain management; and data gathering.
Bots can operate these complex functions 24/7 without assistance and make fewer mistakes than humans.
Alleviated workers can then instead focus their energies on projects away from these types of repetitive tasks.
With 80 million jobs in the US considered good candidates for automation, it’s no surprise people are scrambling to implement automation solutions in their organizations
RPA is the quickest-growing segment of the enterprise software market, with SMBs having more access to automation solutions after several years of use by large corporations.
RPA in action
One of the best examples of RPA in action is order processing for sales.
Typically, with a manual setup, a worker will receive a sales order and proceed to input the data themselves for each stage of the process. And that’s not even going into other aspects of manual tasks, like tracking down invoices or printing and collecting documents.
With RPA, a bot can be trained to automate the sales process from end-to-end, including invoicing and data processing.
This saves the worker time from having to perform a slow, manual task; saves the employer labor costs for having to pay someone to perform a menial task; and most importantly improves customer satisfaction by speeding up the sales order process while at the same time reducing the risk of error.
2. Document Data Extraction
Intelligent methods for extracting data and processing them are another example of advanced technology that can be a huge benefit to a modern business.
Workers have for many years become accustomed to transcribing data from a document and manually entering it into a system of record.
Document data extraction, the process of automatically transcribing data digitally can save countless hours of time for employees
Purchase orders; client documents; customer records; invoices—all and more can be quickly and easily scanned for information in an accurate manner, improving data validation.
Combined with machine learning, its capabilities of handling data improve the more the system is used.
This is especially useful when dealing with unstructured documents.
Vendors like DocuWare are increasingly able to provide these functions to SMBs in full with affordability in mind.
The other benefit of having a data extraction system in place is the ability to store your data exactly where you need it.
Processed document information can output into multiple systems and associated with existing data for easy integration.
according to a study by McKinsey Digital, CEOs spend almost 20% of their time on work that could be automated (like analyzing operational data and reviewing status reports).
Document data extraction in action
A business is processing applications for its services manually, requiring employees to pdf documents and then input the data they see into their work computer.
This takes many hours and decision makers are dissatisfied with how slowly it takes for them to respond, so they implement a document data extraction solution to help.
Now, using the solution, PDFs are automatically parsed, scanning each field and reporting the information to a repository, where an RPA bot can then take over the process.
Extracting data from documents like this means workers can spend their time doing something on more valuable operational work, while they’ve saved time and quickened the process.
3. Workflow Tools
One of the chief concerns of a business undergoing a digital transformation is improving data workflow within the organization.
With the advanced technology of solutions like Enterprise Content Management, digitized data can now be efficiently processed and stored.
From here, it’s a relatively simple step to get that data downstream to the right people at the right time, regardless of department.
Workflow tools, specifically cloud-based systems, are excellent at proving platforms for organizing work processes and projects within teams.
The functionality of these tools extends to management best practices, such as approval routing, data validation, and ensuring the integrity of data before it goes into your ERP system.
We had a client, WaterTech, come to us with concerns about their document management. They relied heavily on paper-based processes and felt that their system was significantly slowing down their operations, particularly with regards to the sales order process.
To address this issue, we audited their systems and built a strategy for digitizing their document workflow, implementing it ahead of schedule.
With the new system, we were able to streamline their workflows by significantly digitizing their paper processes, centralizing document data for easy access and reducing the reliance on manual tasks while improving workflows.
Because of the system we implemented, they were able to cut costs on paper and storage materials by $500 a month, improve their productivity, and have a cloud infrastructure that can be scaled in the future if necessary.
This is one of those perfect advanced technology examples that helps a business make a difference in their day-to-day processes while saving money at the same time.
“We can press a button and get information on our customers and clients that speed up our processes much faster. It’s a press of a button instead of 10,000 pieces of paper.” – Jackie Clark-Edwards, Chicagoland Fat Loss Camps CEO
Download the case study free here!
4. AI Assistants
With increased spending on automation tech comes a larger number of AI assets being implemented into the systems of many SMBs; another advanced technology example in business.
One of the most common examples of automated tech in business is the use of chat-bots.
People engage with bots for customer service more than ever, and businesses are more frequently utilizing chatbots in the organizations.
Per Business Insider, 80% of businesses will be using chatbots by 2020.
They are excellent at solving simple issues, while more complex problems can be sent on to the right people to take care of.
This means a lighter load for staff who far less regularly have to deal with simple customer queries.
In the past, it was common for people to have an aversion to dealing with AI assistants, but new technology means a litany of improved functions such as AI assisted voice recognition and sentiment analysis of messages and emails.
As a result, customers feel more comfortable than ever interacting with AI technology.
For businesses, the goal of this is to get the relevant people involved as soon as possible while streamlining engagement with the client.
AI assistants in action
A business is consistently being swarmed by customer queries about their products and service. Customer support staff are replying as fast as they can, but it’s not enough, and customers are bouncing, losing them business.
They decide to implement a chatbot that can answer the most frequent questions quickly to site visitors, alleviating staff from repetitive questions and allowing them to spend more time on other queries that need their time.
They are able to respond quicker and handle multiple requests simultaneously using the chatbot.
Chatbots are also scalable, meaning that, if there’s an influx of users, they can be scaled up to accommodate demand and then scaled down during less busy periods.
5. Low-Code Applications
The current rate of expansion for the managed services market is a result of SMBs increasing their expectations for what platforms they use in every aspect of their business; from their CRM to their mobile platform.
The gap between off-the-shelf software capabilities and the needs of workers on the ground is growing.
Companies want customized solutions for unique processes, and when they don’t have the correct procedures, users take matters into their own hands, inventing ad-hoc methods to fill the gaps.
This will typically lead to tribal knowledge and siloed organizations, making onboarding, for example, difficult for new hires.
Fortunately, industry-leading low-code platforms like Mendix are readily available to SMBs of any size and offer the opportunity to address needs an off-the-shelf solution cannot.
Low-code development means app-building tools which can tackle or optimize complex and specific tasks—it’s as simple as dragging and dropping and takes less time than regular development.
In North America, nearly 60% of all custom apps are now built outside the IT department by professionals who have little or no IT coding experience
Whether it improves customer engagement or operational efficiencies, low-code platforms can offer enterprise-level apps for a fraction of the price for SMBs.