The Art of Switching Off: How to Do More By Doing Less
You are not a machine, yet I bet you spend over seven hours in front of a screen pretending to be one. Yes, I understand you have a lot of work to do, and it’s a sign of the times that most of it occurs digitally. Unlike your devices, however, you need more than a power source. You’re a complex organic organism that needs intervals of rest and stimulation to operate at your best. You work in one of the most industrious nations in the world. The US sets no limits on the working week and works more hours than nearly all countries in the OECD. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re not alone. The US loses $500 billion every year due to work-related stress, and burnout can affect everyone from the solopreneur to the Fortune 500 CEO.
You’ve felt the effects of burnout, the tiredness, the brain drain. Burnout is so common nowadays that the WHO recently recognized it as an “occupational phenomenon,” and is investigating how companies might better manage it. Problems you might once have easily solved can seem like a Gordion knot when you’re not thinking or seeing clearly.
Behave like a machine, and you’ll eventually become physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and intellectually blunt. Instead, learn how to switch off and watch your productivity and the quality of your work soar. You might even unlock new thinking that helps bring you closer to what you want from life and help you reestablish or deepen connections with loved ones.
But how can you switch off when you have so many responsibilities? You might run a business, manage one, or work in a small team where your absence would encumber those you leave behind. Plus, you need to put food on the table. Well, no need to pack up and move to the mountains just yet. Here are some practical tips to help you switch off wherever you are.
Automate Admin to Free Your Time
Think of all the little repetitive tasks you do each day: Checking and responding to emails, scheduling meetings, paying bills, paying salaries, helping customers, and so on. Rather than handle these tasks manually, automate them with software. Work smarter, not harder, and employ technology for one of its biggest selling points: freeing up time to do other things.
Consider creating email templates and canned responses to common inquiries. Synchronize your calendars with your teams. Use software like Calendly for booking meetings with people outside your organization. Ditch spreadsheets and write scripts (or buy them) that help you populate databases automatically. You might also install a chatbot to handle simpler inquiries.
You’ll find countless workflow automation software online to automate everything from payroll to task management to sales commissions. Google Workspace also has automation tools built-in, from smart labels in Google Mail to team calendars, that make it easier to organize your schedule and workload efficiently, lifting the burden from your mind (and your calendar).
Take Regular Device Breaks to Avoid Burnout
Over 80 percent of the global population owns a smartphone. Combined with your laptop, monitor, and TV, you probably spend more time in front of an electronic screen than sleeping. That’s not hyperbole: Work it out. Ironically, iOS does it for you (at least for your Apple devices). Compare those hours to time spent sleeping and I think you’ll be shocked.
“What’s the problem?” you might wonder. Aside from poorer eyesight, headaches, and insomnia, technology addiction is also associated with anxiety and depression. You might think your always-on connectedness helps your customers or employees, but you’re setting yourself up for failure and worse. Logging extra screentime isn’t a badge of honor: it’s a health risk.
Schedule regular breaks away from devices. Most doctors suggest a five-to-ten minute break every hour, but go further and take an entire day (or more) now and again. Switching off will be hard at first – you might even feel irritable – but in the long run, freeing your mind from the clutches of your devices will help sharpen your thoughts and bolster your mental health.
Go for a Walk to Stimulate Creativity
Today, Americans spend more time sitting than at any time in history. You probably sit for around 15 hours a day. A sedentary lifestyle shortens your lifespan, adds pounds, and might increase your susceptibility to disease. Take regular walks and not only will you protect your physical health, but this much-needed escape from the office will also help your mental wellbeing.
One study suggests that walking improves creativity by 60% (compared to sitting). When you’re inside, at your desk, ostensibly working on a problem, you might find a stroll in a local park offers you better progress. Just being around nature (grass, trees, sea, wildlife) reduces stress, slows your heart rate, and eases muscular tension – the conditions where great ideas thrive.
Whether you work in an office or the spare room, go outside once a day – perhaps at lunchtime. Leave the devices behind and let your mind wander. Take a notepad and pen to jot down ideas. Observe the world around you. The gentle exercise of walking combined with being in nature can do wonders for your concentration, mood, and cognitive function.
Practice Mindfulness to Open Your Mind
Do you remember the last time you did nothing? You probably occupy your mind from the moment you’re awake (and reaching for your smartphone) to the moment you sleep (when you put it on charge). Whether you’re checking emails, handling customer support issues, or just brushing up on the latest trends in entrepreneurship, you afford little time to the present.
Like a mechanical clock, too much activity and environmental stress cause wear and tear on the mind. Sleep recharges you, but occasionally you need to reset, attune yourself to the world, and synchronize your mind to your body. Practicing mindfulness helps to silence distractions, reduce rumination (the washing machine thoughts) and improve cognition, clarity, and focus.
But what is mindfulness? According to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness is “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.” Yoga and meditation are two common examples of mindfulness activities, but even spending fifteen minutes focusing on your breathing can help still an overactive mind and reduce anxiety.
If you run or manage a business or are responsible for something you perceive as important, you’ll feel pressure to be successful. You’ll ruminate, judge your actions harshly, and feel stressed when things don’t go your way. You might lose objectivity and criticize yourself, reinforcing negative thought patterns. This is a fast track to hurting your business and you’ll burnout in a vicious cycle to do more. Practice mindfulness to refocus on what matters.
Socialize With Loved Ones to Remember What’s Important
We’re all on a deadline to break the mold before we die. How this manifests in your life depends on your goals. You might want to build a billion-dollar business. Maybe you want to land a rocket on Mars. It doesn’t matter. Just remember that true, lasting happiness doesn’t come from fame, money, or achievement but from the close relationships you build.
Of course, your professional goals are important. But will you be on your deathbed annoyed that you missed a deadline or revenue target? Unlikely. You’ll probably have other regrets, such as not spending more time with friends and family, or wishing you’d been kinder to them. We often recognize what matters too late to change things: We worked too much and loved too little.
Remember how it felt the last time you surprised a loved one? Fostering close relationships with others makes you happier. And when you’re happier, you’re also stronger, more confident, and more resilient to life’s challenges. Being generous with your time could make you more successful. Better yet, positivity is infectious, and your acts of kindness might inspire others.
You might sell your company or take a sabbatical, for example. While pausing momentum might seem counterintuitive, the extra time and space could afford some much-needed perspective. And when you’re ready to resume your career or start a new venture, you might go farther than you ever thought possible having given yourself the time to reflect.
Everyone is trying to make sense of their lives, to create the conditions for happiness. The world is chaotic, and societal systems give a semblance of order, but truthfully, no one knows (nor agrees upon) the right path. We simply do what we think is best for us at the time. No one is perfect. We’re all human. We’re all fallible. And we’re in it together.
Emulating the cold efficiency of a machine is a zero-sum game. We admire productivity because we link it to achievement and reward. But if our accomplishments come at the cost to our health, happiness, and relationships with others, who really wins? Not you, not your business, and not society. So switching off once in a while will help to stave off burnouts. You deserve it.
Image Credit: Mikael Blomkvist; Pexels; Thank you!
How Emerging Technology Is Helping Teams Save on Development Costs
Software developer pay spans a notoriously wide range, but few would argue that U.S.-based development costs are “cheap.”
According to a U.S. News & World Report analysis, the median U.S. software developer earned $120,730 in 2021. Experienced devs can easily command $200,000 per year in cash compensation alone, with incentive pay and company benefits adding significantly to that total.
You most likely know this already. You also most likely know that complex software development projects take months and involve multiple developers and engineers. “Cost spiral” doesn’t begin to describe the situation.
You don’t need to be reminded how important it is to cut DevOps costs wherever possible. Your bosses and shareholders (perhaps one and the same) remind you enough.
Fortunately, emerging technologies and tools are making it easier than ever to reduce software development expenses without compromising output, efficiency, or quality. It’s no exaggeration to say that these new capabilities are revolutionizing software development and helping DevOps teams save money across the board.
Let’s take a closer look at four types of emerging capabilities: next-generation project management tools, cloud computing services, task automation tools, and ephemeral development environments. Each offers potentially game-changing opportunities for teams looking to work faster, smarter, and more efficiently.
Using next-generation project management tools to drive software development efficiency and collaboration
Signs of bad project management include missed deadlines, poor quality control, and infighting within teams that need to collaborate closely. These and other direct results of poor project management are harmful to the broader organization (and to the careers of those responsible for them).
Yet poor project management has a direct financial cost as well. This goes back to what we’ve already discussed: the high cost of labor in a product development environment and, specifically, the very high cost of labor in a software development context. Every day that passes without an anticipated deliverable is a day that brings unanticipated costs. And while every project budget has some built-in wiggle room, said costs eventually become unacceptable.
The good news is that software development teams can turn to an already-existing library of scalable, easy-to-use project management tools that easily map to DevOps use cases. Your team may already use some basic project management tools to manage workflows and keep track of deliverables, timeframes, and responsibilities. Still, if you haven’t surveyed the landscape and assessed individual tools’ capabilities relative to your team’s needs, you’re likely not maximizing their potential.
Look for project management tools with the following capabilities:
- Use cases specifically designed for your specific development framework. For example, Jira’s project management tool is specifically tailored to Agile development teams.
- Relevant integrations with third-party apps, from general-purpose tools like Google Docs (where your spreadsheets likely live already) to DevOps, cloud storage, and even CRM software.
- Sophisticated calendar views that enable visual-oriented team members to “see” their project responsibilities at a glance.
- Powerful developer APIs that allow you to customize the project management interface to your needs and produce efficiency-oriented outputs.
Ideally, your team relies on one core project management tool to manage everything it’s working on together, with individual developers free to use additional tools to manage their personal workflows.
That may require you to cut out a less optimal tool (or several) and disrupt legacy use cases, but it’s better to rip off the Band-Aid now before a bona fide productivity crisis hits. Further down the road, untangling competing and deeply entrenched workflows will surely prove more costly and more disruptive.
Leveraging cloud computing services for projects with multiple stakeholders
Like project management software, cloud computing services no longer count as revolutionary. If your team is small, it might use GSuite for cloud-based storage and collaboration. If it’s larger, it might use Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (whose incomprehensible value only underscores the critical importance of cloud computing).
And so you’re already aware that cloud computing services make development more efficient by enhancing collaboration, reducing duplication of effort, and sharply cutting reliance on onsite database hosting, file storage, and data processing.
Your team can and should use cloud computing services in additional ways that even more directly improve DevOps efficiency and cost control:
- Containerization: Containerization enables software deployment on any computing infrastructure. Bundling app code and file libraries in a self-contained, platform-agnostic unit eliminate the need to match platform-specific software packages (i.e., Windows-compatible) with the correct machines. Containerized deployment is more portable, more scalable, and more resilient — and it’s only possible in the cloud.
- Microservices (vs. monolithic architecture): Microservices break up the development architecture into many small, agile units that communicate via API. Rather than an inflexible “monolith” that needs to be reworked as it scales, microservices can be scaled internally (or new ones created) as needs arise. Like containerization, it’s a much more flexible, agile, and ultimately low-cost way to manage complex DevOps workflows.
Automating repetitive tasks throughout the development lifecycle
Task and workflow automation tools are improving at an incredible clip, and the advantages of next-generation automation are particularly impressive for DevOps teams. As just one example, telecom giant Ericsson drove significant cost savings by automating key aspects of their software development pipeline and transitioning to a continuous deployment model, according to a study published in Empirical Software Engineering.
Transitioning to continuous deployment is a time- and cost-intensive process that may not be practical for smaller teams, at least not in the near term. But your team can leverage task automation in many other ways.
Testing automation deserves special mention here. Automated testing and QA solutions like Robot Framework and Zephyr (respectively) reduce the need for repetitive, labor-intensive poking and prodding by human devs whose efforts are better spent elsewhere. By finding bugs and quality issues earlier in the development workflow, they also reduce the need for costly and time-consuming fixes further along in the process.
Increasingly, code generation itself is automated, thanks to tools like Eclipse. These generative tools will only improve as processing power increases and training sets expand. Consequently, this sets the stage for a near-future scenario where devs will need to manually write far less code. That, in turn, will allow DevOps teams to stretch dev resources further. Additionally, it will free up person-hours for more creative or problem-focused work.
Utilizing ephemeral environments to improve development speed and quality
Finally, software development teams can achieve efficiency and cost improvements at virtually any scale by utilizing ephemeral environments. These are temporary staging environments that can be created at will, generally for a single-purpose feature test or bug fix, and then eliminated when no longer needed to keep costs low.
Ephemeral environments offer clear advantages for development teams. They reduce pull request backlogs, a notorious sticking point (and cost driver) for larger teams. They’re isolated, which reduces the risk of bug-inducing branch conflicts. They’re fully automated, which frees up engineers to deal with more important matters. And because they enable more targeted, granular testing, they speed up the development process overall. They also reduce the risk of an unacceptable issue breaching the main code branch. Repairs on the main code branch are much more time-consuming and costly.
The result is a faster, more efficient workflow that scales with your team in response to demand. For example, Uffizzi’s on-demand ephemeral environment tool helped Spotify add 20% more features to every release of its popular Backstage developer portal platform. Backstage grew rapidly after initial open-sourcing in 2020 and now averages some 400 active pull requests per month. The transition to ephemeral environments slashed average pull request completion times across the platform.
Ephemeral environments can also help smaller development teams achieve the same economies of scale as larger teams. For example, moving to a continuous deployment model might seem out of reach for small teams under the old “bottlenecked” shared environment framework. Start by streamlining this process and freeing up department resources for longer-term strategic work. Ephemeral environments (and other process automation tools) make such shifts possible.
It’s no accident that Uffizzi’s out-of-the-box ephemeral environment solution supercharges the continuous integration/delivery process.
Opportunities abound now, with more to come
Change is already here for software teams accustomed to the old way of doing things. These four emerging or expanding technologies and tools —
- Next-generation project management software
- Expansive and flexible cloud computing services
- Increasingly intelligent and capable task automation tools
- Scalable, on-demand ephemeral environments for better testing and QA
— are making life easier and development faster for DevOps departments around the world. Their capabilities and use cases will only expand as time goes on.
These four technologies aren’t the only emerging opportunities for software developers and the companies that employ them, however. Around-the-bend and over-the-horizon capabilities could change the tech industry in even more fundamental ways:
- AI-driven platforms for developers, like TensorFlow, that promise to dramatically speed up development timeframes and allow teams to do much more with much less
- Infrastructure as Code (IaC) capabilities that break down silos between DevOps teams and the rest of an organization and create trusted, reliable code frameworks that ultimately reduce developer and maintainer workloads
- Low- and no-code application development, which — while possibly overhyped in the short term — could further break down barriers and enable faster, more collaborative action
- Augmented reality tools and apps, whose potential impact remains speculative but which will likely play an increasingly important role in software and product development over the next decade
In the coming years, odds are you’ll integrate all four of these capabilities into your DevOps workflows by then. You’ll most likely take advantage of other emerging technologies and tools in the near future too. These may even include some we don’t yet know about. As the pace of innovation accelerates, staying one step ahead of the competition — and doing right by your firm’s stakeholders, financially and otherwise — means watching closely for new tech that can speed up your development timelines and reduce overall DevOps costs.
Published First on Due. Read Here.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!
Eco-Friendly Fleet Maintenance Trends and Strategies
As the world becomes increasingly aware of the impact of climate change, many businesses are seeking ways to mitigate their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable practices. In the transportation industry, fleet maintenance is a key area where businesses can make significant strides in reducing their environmental impact.
The Big Issues With Today’s Fleet Maintenance
There are several environmental issues associated with today’s fleet maintenance practices. Here are some of the biggest:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Fleet vehicles are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change. The emissions from fuel combustion and the use of heavy-duty vehicles can have negative impacts on air quality, water quality, and human health.
Hazardous Waste Disposal
Many fleet maintenance activities generate hazardous waste, such as used oil, solvents, and other chemicals. If not disposed of properly, these can contaminate soil and water, posing a risk to human health and the environment.
Fleet maintenance requires significant resources, including energy, water, and raw materials. The extraction and processing of these resources can have negative impacts on the environment, including habitat destruction, deforestation, and water pollution.
Fleet maintenance activities can be noisy, especially in urban areas. This can have negative impacts on wildlife and human health, contributing to stress and hearing damage.
Land Use and Habitat Destruction
The construction and maintenance of fleet facilities, such as maintenance yards and parking lots, can require significant amounts of land. This can lead to habitat destruction and loss of biodiversity.
Overall, fleet maintenance has significant environmental impacts, and addressing these issues will require a comprehensive approach that includes the adoption of sustainable practices, the use of alternative fuels and technologies, and the implementation of environmentally responsible waste management practices.
7 Eco-Friendly Fleet Maintenance Tips
Aligning a company’s fleet maintenance approach with larger green initiatives and eco-friendly mission statements has never been more practical. Here are several helpful tips and strategies to get you started:
1. Switch to Alternative Fuels
One of the most effective ways to make fleet maintenance more eco-friendly is to switch to alternative fuels. Traditional gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Alternative fuels, like electricity, biofuels, and even hydrogen, produce fewer emissions and can help reduce a company’s carbon footprint.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming increasingly popular as a sustainable transportation option. EVs produce zero emissions and are typically much cheaper to maintain than traditional vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are also an option, producing only water as a byproduct. Biofuels, which are made from renewable sources like corn and soybeans, can also be used in some vehicles.
2. Use Sustainable Products and Materials
In addition to alternative fuels, businesses can also make fleet maintenance more eco-friendly by using sustainable products and materials. Here are some examples:
Biodegradable cleaning products: Traditional cleaning products can contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. Biodegradable cleaning products are a more sustainable alternative as they are made from natural, non-toxic ingredients that break down quickly and safely.
Recycled materials: Using recycled materials, such as oil and tires, can help reduce waste and conserve natural resources. Recycled oil can be re-refined and used again, while recycled tires can be turned into rubberized asphalt, which can be used to pave roads.
Eco-friendly lubricants and fluids: Using eco-friendly lubricants and fluids, such as biodegradable hydraulic fluids and biodegradable grease, can help reduce pollution and protect the environment.
Sustainable packaging: When purchasing products and materials for your fleet maintenance, look for sustainable packaging options, such as products that are shipped in recyclable or biodegradable packaging.
By using sustainable products and materials in fleet maintenance, you can help reduce your environmental footprint and promote sustainability.
3. Conduct Regular Preventive Maintenance
Fleet maintenance software can be a powerful tool for managing preventive maintenance as part of a green fleet management strategy. Here are some steps to help you use fleet maintenance software to perform preventative maintenance:
Set up a preventative maintenance schedule: The first step is to set up a maintenance schedule in your fleet maintenance software. This schedule should include regular maintenance tasks such as oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance tasks that will help keep your vehicles running efficiently and reduce emissions.
Track vehicle usage: Your fleet maintenance software should be able to track vehicle usage, including mileage, hours of operation, and other relevant data. This information can help you schedule maintenance tasks based on actual use rather than just time intervals, which can help reduce unnecessary maintenance and waste.
Use eco-friendly parts and materials: When performing preventive maintenance, make sure to use eco-friendly parts and materials whenever possible. This can include using recycled oil, eco-friendly tires, and other environmentally friendly products.
Monitor fuel consumption: Your fleet maintenance software should also be able to track fuel consumption for each vehicle in your fleet. By monitoring fuel consumption, you can identify inefficiencies and make adjustments to improve fuel economy, which can help reduce emissions.
Analyze data and adjust your strategy: Finally, use the data collected by your fleet maintenance software to analyze your fleet’s performance and adjust your strategy as needed. For example, if certain vehicles are consistently underperforming or require more frequent maintenance, consider replacing them with more fuel-efficient models.
The good news is that implementing fleet management software into your company’s strategy isn’t nearly as challenging or intensive as you might think. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, the upfront setup is much faster and more efficient than you may realize. This allows you to get up and running quickly.
4. Implement More Efficient Routing
Efficient routing is another strategy for making fleet maintenance more sustainable. By optimizing routes, businesses can reduce the amount of fuel their vehicles consume and the emissions they produce. This not only helps the environment but can also save the company money on fuel costs.
GPS and fleet management software can help companies optimize their routes and reduce fuel consumption. These tools can provide real-time data on traffic patterns, road closures, and weather conditions, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about their routes.
5. Promote Better Driver Education
Another important aspect of eco-friendly fleet maintenance is promoting driver education. Drivers who are trained in eco-friendly driving techniques can help reduce fuel consumption and emissions. This includes techniques such as reducing idling time, avoiding sudden accelerations and braking, and maintaining a steady speed.
In addition to driver education, businesses can also encourage their drivers to adopt sustainable habits, such as carpooling and using public transportation when possible. This not only reduces the company’s carbon footprint but can also save employees money on commuting costs.
6. Use Telematics Technology
Telematics technology refers to the use of wireless communication systems and GPS technology to transmit data from vehicles to a remote location. This technology allows businesses to track and monitor the performance of their fleet vehicles, including fuel consumption, emissions, speed, and location.
By collecting this data, telematics technology can help businesses optimize their fleet operations to make them more energy-efficient and green. Here are some of the ways that telematics technology can be used to improve fleet sustainability:
Route Optimization: Telematics systems can provide real-time traffic updates, road closures, and weather conditions to help businesses optimize their vehicle routes. By choosing the most efficient route, fleet managers can reduce fuel consumption and emissions while ensuring on-time deliveries.
Fuel Efficiency Monitoring: Telematics technology can track fuel consumption in real-time, giving fleet managers insights into how their vehicles are performing. By identifying patterns of inefficient driving or idling, businesses can take steps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Maintenance Alerts: Telematics technology can also alert businesses when a vehicle is due for maintenance or repairs. By staying on top of maintenance, businesses can ensure that their vehicles are running at peak efficiency.
Driver Behavior Monitoring: Telematics technology can monitor driver behavior, including acceleration, braking, and speed. By identifying patterns of inefficient driving, businesses can provide coaching and training to drivers to help them improve their driving habits.
7. Reduce Vehicle Weight
Reducing the weight of fleet vehicles can also make maintenance more eco-friendly. The heavier a vehicle is, the more fuel it requires to move, which means it will produce more emissions. By reducing the weight of their vehicles, companies can reduce the amount of fuel they consume and the emissions they produce.
This can be achieved by removing unnecessary equipment and cargo from the vehicles, as well as using lightweight materials for vehicle maintenance. For example, aluminum wheels and carbon fiber parts can be used to reduce the weight of the vehicle.
Turn Your Fleet Green
Implementing eco-friendly fleet maintenance practices not only benefits the environment. It can also help businesses save money in the long run. By reducing fuel consumption and emissions, companies can lower their operating costs and improve their reputation as a sustainable business.
Use the tips highlighted above to reorient the way your business approaches fleet maintenance in 2023 and beyond.
Image Credit: by Lê Minh; Pexels; Thanks!
5 Essential Benefits of Choosing an Efficient ERP System
The corporate world is changing at a fast pace, and advanced technologies such as ERP system is at the epicenter of the ongoing digital revolution. Businesses are more dependent on technological tools and enterprise software than ever before. In fact, these tools and software are enabling businesses to drive greater success by enhancing business processes. Are you ensuring that you have the right software and tools to help your business advance swiftly?
There is a plethora of software and solutions to choose from, and each of them comes with its own merits. But what is making a real difference is the integration of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems that can streamline processes across various verticals in an enterprise.
The use of ERP systems defines a new trend altogether in the modern workplace.
Gone are the days when only multinational companies subscribed to ERP solutions for managing processes at the entire enterprise level. Nowadays even small businesses are bridging ERP systems onboard to facilitate business advancement. To validate, as per statistics, the global market size for ERP software is expected to reach USD 96.7 billion by 2024. Finances Online further explains that more than 52 percent of organizations are highly satisfied with the decision of integrating ERP systems.
Probing further, vertical ERP, small business ERP, generalist ERP, and Open Source ERP is among the most common types of ERP software that businesses are integrating. Moreover, it is also notable that most organizations are showing a keen interest in Cloud-Based SasS ERP systems, given the edge they have over traditional ERP.
All in all, the integration of ERP systems has become one of the most sought-after change management activities in the corporate world. The question is, what are the advantages of ERP software that businesses are subscribing to ERP solutions? Let us find out in this blog.
Key benefits of ERP Systems for businesses
1. Massive optimization of productivity
The ultimate objective of every enterprise is to drive the highest productivity across every vertical. However, when your employees work on recurring and repetitive tasks, not only their individual productivity takes a hit, but the efficiency of the entire organization takes a setback. This explains why businesses increasingly spend on automation tools to streamline repetitive tasks like invoicing. Even marketing automation is one of the thriving corporate trends.
All in all, the greater the automation in an enterprise the higher will be the productivity. Having said that, this is where we must look at one of the greatest benefits of integrating ERP systems. To substantiate, ERP systems come with incredible and reliable automation capabilities that can help your organization achieve its business objectives at a greater pace.
Moreover, with AI integrations as per the latest developments, the automation capabilities of ERP systems are much higher than ever before. To substantiate, as per Netsuite, employers are now happily investing in advanced ERP solutions that come with intelligent AI or machine learning capabilities.
Needless to say, artificial intelligence is the way forward for enterprises, and the blend of ERP and AI is worth embracing. This combination will certainly give your business an unparalleled competitive advantage.
2. Real-time analytics
Having timely access to analytics that can help you constantly enhance processes is nothing short of having a competitive advantage. In fact, everything in the modern enterprise world revolves around analytics. From analytics on customer engagement to analytics on inventory management gaps, you need analytics at almost every step.
This is where ERP comes up with another great feature that you should definitely not ignore. An efficient ERP system can generate real-time quantitative analytics that can lead to better planning, execution, and monitoring. Besides, the best part is that with an ERP, you can create data analytics capabilities in your businesses without even having to hire a dedicated team for data analytics.
Moreover, real-time analytics will also ensure that there is a smoother workflow management and will also aid in effective collaboration between teams. Especially if your project teams work remotely, it is essential that there is real-time sharing of data analytics for project success. ERP does not only automate data generation but also data reporting in a presentable and lucid form. However, in the ultimate sense, the positive impact of ERP is subject to the efficiency of your change management process.
3. Greater cost-efficiency in operations
Irrespective of whether you are a budding startup or an established business, operational costs will always be a top concern for you. The correlation is quite simple, the lower the operational costs the higher will be the profitability. Now, the question is, can ERP help you in bringing down operational costs? Well, the answer is a big yes and it is time you acknowledge that.
To validate, as per Datix, ERP solutions can help organizations reduce operational costs by 23 percent. This clearly indicates that you can save a major chunk of operational costs by investing in the best-in-class ERP solution. The sooner you bring ERP onboard, the greater the savings.
4. Magnification of data security
It is a well-known fact that the contemporary corporate world has a massive dependence on big data. Every business process in the modern corporate world has data engineering and analytics at the forefront of things. Data security has become a top concern, especially when cyber-attacks and data breaches are more advanced than ever before.
One of the most compelling reasons why your business needs ERP is the set of advanced data security features. When an ERP is integrated into business processes, you can set controls for accessibility to confidential data. To explain, you can control who can access sensitive information and who cannot.
Otherwise, in the absence of an ERP system, you will have to spend fortunes on cyber security and data security solutions. ERP gives you multidimensional benefits of optimized business processes along with credible data security measures.
5. Enhanced flexibility
Does your organization have a traditional on-site working style or a hybrid working style? Are you planning to move your employees to permanent work from home? ERP gives you great flexibility irrespective of your organization’s working style. Simply put, ERP can be easily integrated even in remote working cultures or hybrid cultures and will also help you to avoid employee burnout (seodiggerz dotcom “help employees avoid burnout). You can implement an ERP system with great ease and put it to work from the word go.
Besides, ERP systems also offer great flexibility in terms of future scalability. If your business is expanding and you want to add more users in the future, ERP systems offer the room to do so. Room to expand has to be the most important feature you should be looking for when you choose an ERP system. Not every ERP system may come with an effective scope of future scalability. Still, you will find a lot of ERP systems that do offer scalability features and you must choose from them.
ERP systems are changing the way businesses approach their operations and key objectives. Besides, ERP is much more than a planning resource and offers immense value in terms of optimizing business processes.
Integrating ERP for your business can be a real game changer. The sooner you subscribe to it, the more advantageous it will prove to be for your business. Make sure you choose an ERP software that is best suited for your enterprise.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Erik Mclean; Pexels; Thank you!