Big Tech Changes — Is Your Software Out-of-Date?
Happy New Year! It’s that time of year where many Americans unfurl that long list of resolutions. Did you add “updating your software” to your list? If not, you should. 2017 is a huge year for new technology, and many of the tried-and-true marketing and sales programs we’re used to using are showing their age. More importantly, they might be holding you back.
Tech Moves at the Speed of Light
The cassette tape is one of the most classic examples that shows how fast technology can change. The same is true in the software world. Technology expands so quickly that before you buy a boxed software program, it is out of date. In fact, buying a boxed program is “so yesterday.” Today, smart companies are buying subscriptions to software. Software as a service (SaaS) helps to replace those out-of-date programs that businesses used to buy. How many versions of Microsoft Office does your business have? Microsoft Office 365 is a perfect example of why you should considering updating your office’s software in 2017.
Office 365 for Marketing and Sales
The new Microsoft Office 365 is more than just a suite of programs that help you create documents and presentations. It also allows you and your team or clients to collaborate on projects. It includes web apps which gives your team access to documents on a global basis and, because data is stored in the cloud, there is less risk of it being stolen.
In fact, one of the most exciting spins to this is that Microsoft launched Smart Partner Microsoft which offers a host of options including one for marketing. This is not just a library where you go to read about how to use Office 365 for marketing, but a community where marketing tips and resource are available.
Smart Partner Marketing is golden for small and medium-sized businesses.
“Our Smart Partner Marketing community is making it easy for you to find professional, personalized marketing resources that will help you to market your business,” says Microsoft.
What’s available? Let’s explore:
Digital Transformation — Brings you the power of cloud computing, which means digital marketing and sales. Smart Partner Marketing connects your business to others that can then help you succeed at digital marketing.
The same is true if your businesses needs fresh ideas for campaigns or web content. A whole community of people that you can hire is there to help. Small and medium-sized businesses can access specialists at affordable prices without having to hire a new employee. Plus, with the new approach to partner marketing, this kind of setup take you one step closer to competing with the giants.
Key Collaboration for Marketing and Sales
Do you have an awesome marketing campaign that isn’t getting off the ground? Before you pull out the rest of your hair, consider the power of Marketing SureStep, which is part of the Smart Partner Marketing community. It offers a guided marketing experience that helps non-marketing people understand and succeed at marketing campaigns.
“A marketing plan is like that map,” explains Microsoft. “Our step-by-step marketing plan template helps you drive your marketing in the direction you want.”
Have You Updated Your Software for 2017?
There are a lot of doors open in 2017 and most of them are driven by changes in technology. Microsoft Office 365 is just one of the many examples of why we need to get out of our regular habits and push forward.
There are questions that everyone should be asking in regards to software at their company:
- Is my software holding back my marketing teams performance?
- Does my software have the capability to allow my team to collaborate from multiple locations?
- Can my software master marketing automation?
- Can my software allow me to compete with large corporations?
Chances are you have a few programs that handle different aspects of your marketing strategy. A good question to ask yourself is whether or not you can tie it all together and improve efficiency.
Building Efficiency with Software
A big topic in 2016 was needing to include the sales team as a part of the marketing team, incorporating how marketing drives sales and how your sales team helps to improve the efficiency of what marketing is currently doing. This collaboration is helped by software that allows multiple point data capture, and then makes that data useful to everyone.
Predictive software is a newer technology that is changing how we do business. One program, Adobe Analytics offers predictive software for marketing. Wouldn’t it be cool to know what your customers reaction will be before they do? What if you could spot anomalies months out and decide if they are an opportunity or a risk? Well, now you can! These are just some of the things that software is bringing to the marketing and sales table.
The Risk of Outdated Software
Software that is aging does more than just hold you back—it opens up doors to risk. Hackers invest the time to look for weaknesses in programs. If you have not updated your software and have not installed the most recent patches from the publisher, then your system is likely at risk.
Ransomware was big in 2016, and it is expected to be bigger in 2017. Updating your software helps protect your system from ransomware, virus, and malware.
One last tip about software. If you struggle to manage your software, consider partnering with a managed IT service that has a quality reputation. Many managed IT companies offer software management, upgrades, and will actually partner with small companies to bring them world-class IT at a fraction of the cost.
There are a many reasons to add “updating software” to your list of resolutions. In fact, at the speed that technology changes, it might be a good idea to update twice a year. If you think that your software is holding back your company, then consider updating or upgrading to any of the real-world solutions that fit into 2017.