How Can The Cloud Drive Productivity Without Increasing Labor Costs?A shrinking economy. Rising labor costs. Stalled worker productivity. For U.S. companies, the latest government data paints a bleak picture, with employees already working near their maximum efficiency. That’s according to an article on Bloomberg.com, a business intelligence service.
Toward the end of 2012, companies increased hiring, a sign they’re ready to grow their business by adding new staff. In this climate, one way small businesses can drive productivity is through cloud technologies, such as automated backup and cloud collaboration tools.
Using the cloud to automatically backup your business data, for example, can be more cost-effective than having your admin or IT workers handle it. Depending on how complex your system is, the backup process can be very manually intensive and time consuming. Spending 2 or 3 hours a week on your backup really adds up over the course of a year. And with automatic, online backup, you don’t have to rely on an employee remembering to do it, copying the data to the backup device and then securing the backup somewhere safe.
Productivity gains from technology are especially important today. According to the Bloomberg.com article, in 2012, worker productivity rose by only 1 percent. That compares to a 2.3 percent average from 2000 through 2011. Labor costs, meanwhile, increased by 0.7 percent, which is close to the 1 percent average from 2000 through 2011.
Cloud collaboration tools also can increase your company’s productivity. Working remotely is more efficient if you’re able to collaborate securely and easily, which saves commuting time and opens your employee base. That way, if you have contractors or temporary employees, you don’t have to bring them into the office. You could hire someone in a different state or even a different country.
In terms of efficiency gains, manufacturers fared better last quarter than other businesses, according to the Bloomberg.com article. These large companies are becoming more productive by having fewer employees and automating a lot more of their process, a strategy that should also work for small businesses.
Moving forward, cloud technologies may offer the best options for improving productivity without increasing labor costs — for companies large and small. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. What steps is your company taking to boost productivity?
Source: Bloomberg.com, February 2013
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