For many businesses, both small and large, staying competitive is one of the most important goals to achieve. Some do it by cutting costs and keeping their entire business operations as efficient as possible while others rely on marketing and a huge customer base to further dominate the market.

A number of businesses in the North East are starting to rely on information technology to develop more ways to remain competitive. Even small, local businesses are now taking advantage of local SEO and internet marketing to boost their exposure. Several new business IT trends are shaping the market in the process.

Better Process Management

Until recently, only a handful of businesses paid attention to process management. The majority of small and medium enterprises didn’t really have systems or applications that supported their internal workflows. In fact, many tasks – including recordkeeping and information management – were still done manually.

Thanks to solutions such as Bizagi, companies can now translate their workflows and processes into working applications that can be implemented immediately. This changes the way businesses approach IT, opening new possibilities for things like standardization and better process management.

The introduction of better process management is key to making a business more competitive. Risks can be managed more meticulously and operational obstacles are now more predictable than ever. Data from different parts of the business – including sales – can be processed and analyzed to find new ways to optimize your business.

Decentralization

The old paradigm of companies controlling their employees’ devices is quickly fading away. Today, team members can bring their own devices and be part of a fluid network after just a few simple steps. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept is interesting for two reasons.

First, businesses no longer need to invest a lot of money to get employees connected. Smartphones, tablets and laptops can be configured to connect to the company’s secure network either via VPN or by connecting to a local network directly.

Paired with remote working and the higher efficiency, BYOD also allows businesses to stay leaner for longer. A Newcastle-based startup can have employees working from London or other parts of the country. Sales executives, for example, can remain connected to the main sales team through cloud-based platforms.

To the Cloud

Cloud computing is the final piece of the puzzle. It is amazing how many businesses – even the local businesses you interact with every day – are actively using cloud computing as part of their everyday activities. It starts with the simplest solutions such as cloud backup and cloud storage.

Existing solutions are being offered as Software as a Service, which means businesses can save on initial investment and don’t need to maintain their own hardware or servers to take advantage of cloud computing. Combined with the better process management we talked about earlier, cloud computing is helping businesses expand their operational capacity without actually increasing operational costs.

It is worth noting that all of these trends will continue to influence businesses in the area, so watch this space.