Growth

From medium to enterprise: How tech can help your business scale

Today’s technology can enable organisations to scale rapidly at a lesser cost and with fewer interruptions.

Woman working on computer Scalable technologies can help growing businesses.

When buying a home for a growing family, you need to think a few years ahead. Today's toddler will soon be a primary-schooler who needs space to run. Not many years later, the same child will be a teenager who'll need hours in the bathroom and somewhere to play music without it assaulting your ears. If you can tolerate expense and hassle, you could move your family as it grows. But when you can foresee growth and change, might it not be smarter to invest in assets that can clearly grow with you?

The technology industry has decided on the second approach, by offering products that can scale with your business without limiting your growth or requiring big upgrades.

Productivity and collaboration tools

Consider Microsoft's Office 365 for example: the suite can scale from one user to tens of thousands. Early-stage businesses may use only basic features such as email and productivity applications. By the time a business reaches 50 or more employees, Office 365's collaboration tools and business intelligence features come into their own. Large businesses can go all in. The extra features are always available as you grow - additional functionality is within easy reach rather than requiring the implementation of a completely new process.

Communications

Another technology that starts simply and can add sophistication as you grow is IP telephony – phone services delivered over the internet. You might start using IP telephony as a standard voice service, only adding a switchboard, voicemail, systems to create conference calls, and more as they become necessary. Unlike analogue alternatives, IP telephony is also ready to integrate with mobile devices and software. Again, those extras come without the need for a disruptive upgrade, therefore offering a growing business the chance to quickly adopt the kind of communications services customary at big business.

Data protection

It's essential that growing businesses nail down the basics and adopt good data security practices early, before growth exposes under-investment in critical areas. According to the Telstra Business Intelligence report on Managing Risks Online, 24% of SMBs surveyed had no formal measures in place to protect the information they collect from customers. The report also found that 64% of SMBs surveyed think cyber attacks would have a limited impact on their customer because they don’t keep sensitive customer information. Every business collects data, whether intentionally or inadvertently. This data is a valuable commodity, so keeping it protected should be a top consideration – for the safety of your business and for your customers.

Are you keeping customer data secure?

Discover how to protect your customers’ data from online threats.

Access free reportAre you keeping customer data secure?

Point of sale technology

Vaughan Rowsell is the founder of POS software developer Vend. He suggests growing businesses adopt tools that offer access to features they may not need today, but will be useful in the future. He advises that retailers should, “ditch the clunky cash register for a cloud-based point-of-sale system.” Such services can help you ring up sales on day one but, over time, can integrate with accounting systems, analytics tools, loyalty schemes and more. “You’ll save huge amounts of time and money, and will find it much easier to manage your growth and keep track of the business,” Rowsell says.

Align technology with business goals

"To grow quickly, small businesses need to put the customer at the core of their business, to drive their data and digital strategy,” says Aniqa Tariq, vice president of new market activation at consultancy Bluewolf. “They need tools that provide actionable analytics and improve data quality to translate overwhelming collections of data into intuitive, automated customer and employee experiences.” Tariq says that when the technology investments of a growing business align to customer experience and business outcomes, “companies can generate better forecasting, greater efficiency and reach revenue goals, while improving or creating new products or services and marketing potential. No company can remain static. Those that budget for innovation, prosper.”

*Originally published on March 1st 2017. Updated February 19th 2021.

Need help protecting your business online?

Telstra Business Cyber Security Services offers 24/7 support and more.

Find out moreNeed help protecting your business online?

Virginia Martin founder of Búl
Customer Experience
Customer Experience
Keep customers happy and maintain your work-life balance: Virginia Martin, founder of Búl

Customers might be making enquiries about your business around the clock, but you don’t need to trade your well-earned downtime to be helpful and responsive. Virginia Martin, f...

Woman shopping online
Customer Experience
Customer Experience
5 things customers expect from your business online

Do you know which online features customers think are important when dealing with businesses online? Research shows that you may be underestimating these five things.

Man using tablet in stockroom
Business IQ
Business IQ
The fundamentals of online security planning

Protecting your business online requires more than set-and-forget antivirus software. In an increasingly digital world, planning and strategy are key for keeping your business ...

Man using tablet in stockroom
Productivity
Productivity
Your 5-step guide to digitising your business

Kickstart your business’s digital transformation with our quick guide. Discover the five essential steps that can help your business thrive online in 2021 and beyond.