Since the turn of the 21st century, technology has grown exponentially and still continues to. Virtually all aspects of our lives are now permeated by technology in various ways & forms. The business arena now relies heavily on technological capabilities in order for one to earn a formidable place in the market. Therefore anyone seriously contemplating developing a business nowadays must have a considerable understanding of the technological paraphernalia one needs to kick-start their business effectively. The incorporation of technology in business is one of the most crucial ingredients necessary for optimum performance, innovation & cost-reduction. I’m going to discuss some key things that would make for a tech starter pack for your business.
The bedrock of technology is the computer and as such it’s the first & foremost thing you must acquire. Depending on the nature of your business you might want to use desktops, laptops, tablets etc, or a combination of two or more of those as PCs (personal computers). The critical things, among others, that you must pay attention to are the OS (operating system) type & version, storage capacity, RAM capacity, processing speed & battery performance. The working principle is, the higher the better.
Internet Connectivity Infrastructure
A significant online presence for a business can’t be overemphasized nowadays. Your business must be online to leverage on the many opportunities online. Therefore, you need to choose from the various types of options available that you can choose from to get internet connectivity. Commonly preferred options are either fibre optic or wireless; service providers like ZOL or TelOne can assist you in this regard.
Data is probably the most important entity in computing and business operations & must be properly handled. The two main types of storage are:
Solid State Storage
This entails devices that can retain stored data even after power supply is cut off. It can either be internal storage or external storage. Internal storage pertains to the internal hard drives whilst external storage pertains to secondary storage such as on memory sticks, SD cards, flash drives or external hard drives. Thus, you must acquire such storage devices for data storage & back-up purposes.
This is the storage of data online by use of cloud computing services. This can effectively as your primary data back-up mechanism. There are several cloud storage service providers such as Drop Box or Box. The good thing is they offer free cloud storage space which you can increase by subscribing to their various packages on offer. Once you store data online you can access it from anywhere so long you have access to the internet.
Data Processing Equipment
As much as data can stored electronically there are also numerous other data processes that require the manipulation of data in physical form. That’s why it’s important to have printers, scanners, photocopiers & fax machines (of which you can just get an all-in-one machine that has all these functions).
Software drives the hardware components of any computer system. Software can either be off-the-shelf or custom-written. You must ensure you acquire latest software for the various aspects of the technology you’ll use. This spans from operating systems, dedicated software, mobile apps etc.
This has become so indispensably important in business operations of this 21st century. Social media is now very central to business marketing due to the very high mobile smart phone & mobile internet penetration locally. Many people are now very active users of social media platforms such Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter etc. Having social media accounts on these various platforms will augment you marketing & brand visibility initiatives; it’s imperative you have them!
This is a must-have; it’s quite disturbing to actually see businesses that don’t operate with a functional website. This is not only beneficial to enhancing your corporate image but it can be featured with e-commerce functionality to enable transactional purchases to be done through it. It can also be connected to your other social media accounts by adding links to them on it. You can contact businesses like WebZim who can develop a website for you.
Mobile smartphone penetration in Zimbabwe still continues to increase. This means you will need to purchase good smart phones in order to carry out business operations on the go. If you endow your smart phone with good apps you can virtually do anything from documents to video conferencing; basically any key business process can be done by use of a good smartphone.
As for your creating excellent social media content you will need to come up with high quality images & videos. You can purchase relatively cheap audio-visual equipment to do this. In the long run this will do away with the potential costs of having to outsource such services. A high-end smartphone can also do all these aspects of taking high quality images & videos.
With the above-stated entities you can commence and go on to establish a robust business initiative that is effectively anchored on technology. The majority of the things I pointed are not expensive; some of them are actually free. The number of items I discussed is not exhaustive though; there are many other things that can constitute a tech starter pack for a business. I have just outlined those that I feel are must-haves.