During Stone Age, human beings were primarily hunters and gatherers. Millions of years later, despite evolution, our work is still that of hunting and gathering. Think about it. At a modern workplace, whether we are an employee or an entrepreneur, most of our work is likely to involve looking for and accumulating information scattered across different systems and departments. We have at our disposal a variety of software tools to help us do this, and to ensure that the information we gather is organized, updated and accessible to our coworkers who rely on it.
However, even with the availability of a wide variety of specialized business tools, many organizations choose to ration their software to minimize their expenditure. They often deploy only the bare minimum tools or try makeshift solutions such as using the same tool for completely unrelated job functions, even if this approach reduces efficiency. Many companies place limits on the number of employees who have access to the key tools–a counterproductive approach that, in the long run, is likely to cost them a lot more than they would save in the licence cost because it restricts employees from accessing the information and tools they need to make the best business decisions.
Much of the human culture and innovations were shaped by tools that the early humans had access to. It’s not surprising then, that in modern workplaces, culture and innovative thinking are shaped by the tools that employees have access to. In that sense, the power of business software can be transformative. By limiting this power, companies inadvertently end up restricting creativity, innovation and cultural growth.
It’s surprising just how unaware people working for corporates are about the possibilities for transformation that business software can open up for their organization.
For instance, companies that still use emails as the only mode of internal communication are missing out on the many important ways in which their teams can work together to brainstorm ideas and engage in collective problem-solving. There’s a whole world of collaborative software tools that these businesses could benefit from. However, as a consequence of their rationing approach, these opportunities remain unrealized.
Similarly, businesses that still use spreadsheets instead of a CRM tool for maintaining their customer information are missing out on critical input and interactions about their customers and prospects. Contextual information that could help them build better relationships and close more deals is now lost because they chose to stick with a rudimentary tool that isn’t meant for organizing customer data.
What if, instead of rationing tools, organizations chose to make them ubiquitous? What if, every employee could access all the tools that they needed, and then some?
The use of these tools combined with our natural hunter-gatherer instincts could empower us to work far more efficiently because we’d be able to find and access all the relevant information at times when we need it, and communicate more effectively with each other, leading to better results and faster growth for the companies.
The evolution of business software into a ubiquitous resource is no longer an unachievable goal, thanks to the proliferation of the internet and smartphones, as well as the disruptive pricing models made possible by cloud computing. In fact, the cost of continuing to treat business software as a scarce resource is a bigger drain on efficiency. By making software available to all, companies could create an environment that encourages the free flow of information, knowledge and ideas–the key tenets of a great company culture.
Brief about ZOHO
Zoho is the operating system for business—a single online platform capable of running an entire business. With apps in nearly every major business category, including sales, marketing, customer support, accounting and back office operations, and an array of productivity and collaboration tools, Zoho is the world’s most prolific software company. More than 35 million users around the world, across hundreds of thousands of companies, rely on Zoho every day to run their businesses, including Zoho itself.
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