In this 'tell us about your tech' interview, Chris Walker, IT Manager at Gorvins Solicitors, discusses his biggest tech challenges and how he overcomes them.
What is your business’s best tech investment?
Over many years of working within the IT industry, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of numerous investments in technology, some small and others very large. As you would expect, large investment projects require a lot more planning and time to get right and they also have the most potential to fail or become problematic.
With this in mind I would have to say that the wisest tech investment I have made to date would be implementing digital dictation. It may not sound very interesting or be expensive and flashy. However, if I asked any of our members of staff if they would like to go back to the days where they were handed a cassette with an unknown number of transcriptions, I suspect the resounding answer would be a very firm ‘No’.
The efficiency gained through digital dictation is remarkable and allows you to work smarter and utilise your staff more effectively. I would advise anyone out there still using tape-based dictation to make the switch sooner rather than later.
What are your business’s biggest tech challenges & how do you overcome them?
One of my biggest challenges is ensuring that all of the technology we have works for the users and not against them. Technology should be used to make the job in hand easier for everyone, not create obstacles and barriers.
I have witnessed many decisions being made about the introduction of new technology, without consulting the people who will be using it. I believe it is essential to engage users in the process at a very early stage to make sure that they feel involved, and to secure full buy-in before any commitment is made about the technology.
Another challenge I’m sure we are all faced with is ensuring that users can work from any location and from any device securely, at any time. I believe that the days of a ‘nine to five’ desk job are long gone, so I need to ensure that our staff can work whenever and from wherever they want, which is an ongoing challenge.
What new tech are you excited about?
With so much new tech emerging it is hard as an IT Manager not to be excited about the future possibilities. Right now though, I am looking forward to developing our use of the cloud, offloading the requirement to look after hardware, and concentrate on making the business more efficient and profitable through the adaptation of business processes. By utilising the cloud more effectively we will also be able to provide a better service to our users.
With the likes of in-car connectivity will soon have the opportunity to check emails and dictate while on the move, which will save staff time, and increase the business’s productivity.
What tech advice would you give to other business in your sector/generally?
My advice to other firms is to always review the technology that is currently employed and make sure that it is being used to the best of their advantage. Take a look at the products you already use and see if you can streamline them to make them work better for your users. Many businesses employ multiple products because they are sold for a specific task and often overlook what the business already has in place that could be adapted to do the same job just as well. Change is always a difficult process so I would also encourage businesses introducing new technology to have product champions and use their staff to promote the technology they are using. In my experience, that is the best way to ‘sell’ the benefits initially and will help users get the best long term advantages from the technology you introduce.
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