In today’s digitally driven economy, keeping up with technology has become essential for maintaining a competitive edge. IT-related priorities are higher than ever for businesses, a recent Gartner survey shows. Fifty-seven percent of CEOs are focused on growing in-house technology and digital capabilities this year and next year, as compared to 29 percent who are planning on outsourcing. This represents a reversal of historic trends toward IT outsourcing, reflecting the growing centrality of technology for today’s competitive company.
In this environment, you can’t afford to fall behind in keeping up with technology changes and utilizing the latest tools. Here are three essential tools for today’s competitive company.
Business Intelligence Tools
Business intelligence (BI) is setting leading companies apart from their competition by enabling them to make objective, data-driven analyses and decisions instead of relying on subjective guesswork. Finance, management and sales are the areas where businesses are pursuing the highest BI adoption rates and seeing the greatest returns, BI Survey research . Zoho Reports is the most popular BI tool for smaller companies with less than 100 employees, while prevero is most widespread among midsize companies and Tibico leads among companies with 2,500 or more employees.
All these providers rely on cloud-based deployment options due to the large amount of computing power required for BI operations. However, on-device artificial intelligence breakthroughs are making it easier for companies to run BI on mobile devices even without a cloud connection. For instance, Qualcomm’s new Artificial Intelligence platform supports on-device AI, including business intelligence applications as well as other AI-dependent applications, such as smart camera recognition, virtual reality and biometric security authentication.
Running on-device BI can make it faster for managers and workers to access real-time data for optimal operational performance.
Digital Customer Service Tools
With a growing segment of consumers now using their smartphones to research products and make purchases, delivering superior digital customer service is a priority for competitive companies. A must for effective digital customer service is live chat, which delivers a higher satisfaction rate than any other customer service tool. Today’s most efficient tool for delivering live chat support is chatbots, which automatically handle frequently asked questions while using smart routing to forward questions which require human assistance.
To integrate your live chat and chatbot solutions with your phone support and other support channels, another important tool in today’s customer service technology arsenal is cloud contact center software such as Five9. Cloud centers allow you to integrate your support channels while helping you automate processes such as handling phone inquiries about routine topics.
Smart CRM Tools
Sales is the lifeblood of business, and another important category of technology tools is customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRM tools allow you to analyze your marketing and sales data, spot trends, identify hot prospects, deploy your best available sales representatives and provide your sales reps with product recommendations matched to customers’ profiles and personal preferences. Today’s cutting-edge CRM tools such as Salesforce’s Einstein use artificial intelligence to provide enhanced sales analytics capability.
Business intelligence, digital customer service and CRM are three key technology areas for companies seeking to gain an edge on the competition. Learning to use these tools effectively will improve the efficiency of your operations, boost your customer satisfaction rates and increase your bottom line.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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