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Updated 21 Jan 2019

How start-ups can take control of technology

Sometimes the start-up has to just look up. 

Henk Oliver, 26 November 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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It’s difficult to be in control of your technology. Yes, tech can give you all the information you need, it can connect you to clients and communicate with colleagues. It can span continents and countries in a single click, and it can ensure that your business is active and alive 24/7. However, it also makes it hard to decide what information is important, what tools to use, and when to put it all down in favour of down time and a life.

Social media, news, gossip, WhatsApp, email, videos, photos – the information overload is real. This is particularly true of the start-up where one person does a thousand jobs and the need to be connected and up to date is as demanding as the need to drink more coffee to stay awake. 

Mobile lifestyle grips everyone 

A few months ago, I did a presentation to a board of directors and every one of the 15 attendees walked into the room staring at their phones, not talking to one another and typing messages while they waited for the meeting to start. It has become unnerving to look around board rooms and restaurants – people are always busy on their devices.

Technology plays an increasingly important role in the success of the business, but it is just a tool and it is important to set rules and boundaries around its use. This is as important in the professional context as it is in the personal.

Related: 5 Tech investments your start-up needs today

For organisations that are comprised of a mix of generations, the older generation that didn’t grow up with devices can provide a balance. For those that are comprised of younger staff, it is vital that there is a line in the technology sand to support users and prevent them from getting social media anxiety and burn out. 

Implement guidelines for tech use in your business

Every organisation is different, every culture defined in its own way, but the goal is to create spaces where technology is replaced with human interaction and engagement. 

Not only will this ease the drive to remain connected all day, every day, but it will have a marked impact on business productivity and creativity. A survey undertaken by Gallup found that organisations with high employee engagement have a 21% higher profitability than those with lower engagement. Research has also found that by encouraging peer-to-peer communication and collaboration, the company culture benefits. 

Technology empowers the business, there is no doubt, but sometimes its absence is what makes all the difference to success.

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About the author

Henk Oliver

Henk Olivier is a successful serial entrepreneur with several businesses under his belt. He has worked closely with partners and colleagues to create companies that resolve very specific South African challenges. Throughout his journey he has learned plenty of lessons about how to get the business off the ground with the best possible tools, but without breaking the budget. Henk is the Managing Director of Ozone Information Technology Solutions.

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