When you think about technology and its place in business you may think of big computing giants or software companies that develop or use technology on a large scale. We don’t. We know that technology and business growth are synonymous, regardless of company size.

And as a managed service provider (MSP), we support numerous SMEs across the country (and a few large businesses around the world too!) with the provision of technology to support their business growth.

But there are very few businesses now that don’t make use of office productivity software such as Microsoft Office 365. It simply isn’t feasible to operate without email, and the basics like Word and Excel.

Over the past couple of years, we’ve also seen the wider adoption of collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Sharepoint Online. This means that businesses can now achieve even greater productivity from these ‘utility’ applications. Take Powerapps, for example, which allows for the automation of business processes by using workflows.

Collaboration Software and the Rise of ERP

It’s likely that you rely on certain business applications (perhaps Sage, Quickbooks, or Connectwise). These help you manage key processes such as accounts, warehousing and perhaps, even a scheduling or manufacturing execution system. Used properly, in conjunction with collaboration tools, these business applications are crucial to your business’s growth.

Our business’s heritage is in ERP (or ‘Enterprise Resource Planning’) – a business system, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, that brings all those applications together under one roof.

Working with an integrated ERP system is proven to accelerate growth. For a start it removes data entry duplication because the data you enter into one application syncs with the others.

ERP allows for real-time analysis and reaction to important data, so you always have the full picture.

Your accounts module ‘speaks’ to your CRM module… your stock control function communicates with your ordering system. ERP allows for real-time analysis and reaction to important data, so you always have the full picture.

Investment in Technology is Investment in People

The key word here is growth.

Productivity applications are now a ‘must have’ just to do business. However, the additional features available to businesses – such as ERP – can drive huge growth by allowing mundane tasks to be automated, and simply by allowing people to do more with the time they have.

In the past, many ERP projects were justified by the proposition that lower headcount could be achieved and therefore greater margin would be made due to lower costs.

This is not necessary – technology does not need to replace people.

Technology in the form of productivity applications, workflows, and ERP should be recognised for its ability to power business growth because they ‘scale’ with your growth.

Put simply, you can do much, much more with the same resources because you can do them faster. You can also do many more things with the same people.

This is how technology will help you grow your business.