Running a business today without technology seems unthinkable. Its conveniences can make work more efficient, boost the bottom line, and open additional growth possibilities. With the right tools, everyday tasks linked to routine processes become a breeze. Crossing the simple things off the to-do list doesn’t take as much time and effort.
But just because tech solutions are out there doesn’t mean business leaders automatically know which ones to choose. The myriad of choices can be confusing, if not downright overwhelming. It can be easy to fall into one of two camps. You either get stuck in analysis paralysis or implement too many incompatible tools. To avoid either fate, consider these five tech tool investments nearly every company can benefit from.
1. Contract Management Apps
You don’t have to be a lawyer to dabble in contracts. Even sole proprietors use them. Businesses rely on contracts, whether it’s to ink a new project deal or get a subscriber to agree to services. These documents govern professional relationships by setting standards and spelling out obligations. Managing contracts, however, can be challenging if you don’t have a streamlined way to do it.
There are new agreements to create, signatures to collect, and completed documents to store. Investing in contract management software gives business owners a centralized way to perform these tasks. Plus, they gain access to customizable templates for documents like non-disclosure agreements. Stakeholders can easily co-create, share, and finalize documents using automated workflows. Integration with client relationship management software is also possible.
2. Customer Verification Software
You might want to think about verification software if your company handles sensitive client information, such as Social Security numbers. Phone impersonation schemes aren’t uncommon since they’re a clever way for criminals to commit identity theft. For example, someone calls an insurance company pretending to be the policyholder. Within a few minutes, they change the mailing address and get the details they need to commit insurance fraud.
Identity theft and fraud, of course, don’t stop with insurance policies. It’s a growing problem, and contrary to popular belief, the elderly aren’t necessarily the prime targets. According to the Federal Trade Commission, younger age groups are falling prey to everything from investment to job scams. FTC data from 2021 shows 18- to 59-year-olds were 34% more likely to fall victim to fraud than adults aged 60 and older.
Customer verification software helps combat ID theft and phone impersonation schemes with a form of two-factor authentication. When clients call in to talk about their accounts, the software sends them a code through email or text. Contact center agents can’t change or disclose any information until the caller completes the verification. Once the client does this, the software confirms the customer’s identity for the agent, reducing the chance of fraud.
3. Employee Benefit Portals
Human resource managers can only do so much. They’re tasked with recruiting, payroll, and enforcing company-wide policies. Taking care of employees’ concerns is part of the job, but time and place constraints can get in the way. During the weekend, someone might want a copy of last year’s W-2. Perhaps five new hires need to choose their benefits and set up direct deposit after training.
Employee self-service portals extend the reach of HR personnel by removing time-intensive, repetitive tasks from their plates. Self-service options can also boost employee satisfaction. About three-quarters of full-time workers expect their employers to offer a high level of self-service. When staff members have control over the basics, HR managers can direct their attention to more strategic responsibilities.
4. Anti-Phishing Tools
For businesses, email phishing attempts are a serious problem because they can immediately compromise sensitive data. In some cases, successful phishing techniques may lead to ransomware attacks. These can completely shut down a company’s network and operations. Artificial intelligence tools are necessary as email phishing methods become harder for the human eye to identify.
Anti-phishing software scans emails at the server level, isolating suspicious messages. Those spoofed emails bearing the CEO’s name, for example, never reach employees’ inboxes. Some tools can even stop and minimize the effects of successful, in-progress attacks. Others scan the web for counterfeit websites with your brand’s name. Using anti-phishing apps helps defend your business against potentially disruptive consequences.
5. Data Backup Solutions
Most large enterprises back up data by default, meaning it’s a non-negotiable task. However, leaders in smaller companies may overlook the importance of daily backups. Additionally, solopreneurs might not even consider backing up data since they’re busy running the show by themselves.
But failing to copy and store your company’s critical information in a secondary location can come back to bite you. An attack on your network or an accidentally deleted file could waste weeks of productivity. Being able to recover crucial data when there’s a disruption will help you save face and avoid troubles with clients. Compliance regulations may also require you to back up specific information. Implementing automated tools ensures you can quickly restore what you need.
Tech Tools to Invest In
With so many tech tools to choose from, the process of selecting the right ones can seem like a daunting chore. Plus, companies have different operating needs, which makes leaders’ decision-making process that much more challenging.
Nevertheless, it’s advantageous for companies to invest in core tech solutions like contract management and data backup software. Doing so helps businesses of all sizes run as smoothly as possible.