The Art Of Selecting Elite Back Office Platforms In High-Tech

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Ellen Williams has over 25 years of experience with technology selection and implementation. She is a Director at Orion Global Solutions.

High-tech companies, known for their innovation and agility, are recognizing the importance of leveraging the right tools to effectively manage internal operations. They are prioritizing the selection of back-office platforms, considering crucial aspects such as real-time reporting and analysis, streamlined pipelines and the integration of AI technologies. The value of high-tech companies optimizing these elements cannot be overstated, as they facilitate operational efficiency and enable in-house programmers to concentrate on core business innovations.

The Backbone Of Business: Why Back Office Efficiency Matters

The back office doesn’t always get the same attention at high-tech companies as their in-house programmers. However, back-office functions, from sales and finance to customer relations and retention, are critical for the organization’s success. For high-tech companies, these functions are both supportive and integral.

Seamless operations can create great customer and employee experiences, supporting the retention of both. Easy access to information, automated workflows and real-time, data-driven decision-making can create a business that runs smoothly and allocates resources efficiently, leading to its scalability.

The first step in selecting a back-office platform is to conduct a thorough assessment of existing platforms and their capabilities. Enroll employees from across the organization to capture what’s necessary for insightful reports and simplified or automated data entry. Document all shortcomings, bottlenecks, manual processes and missing features, and create a functionality wish list.

Advanced Reporting For Strategic Insights

A key component of the back-office platform is the ability to create comprehensive reports and visual dashboards with accurate and real-time data analysis. Look for a platform with fields that allow for small pieces of information to be captured, making data easier to analyze. Also, include flexibility and easy configuration in the requirements.

Evaluate the platforms based on their ability to easily generate real-time reports that differentiate between new and recurring customers, trends in customer service cases and product and service revenue comparisons. High-tech companies need these valuable insights to identify areas of growth and risk, identify customer trends, stay ahead of market trends and make strategic business moves.

Streamlined Pipelines

High-tech companies often have complex internal pipelines to manage their multiple products and services as well as pricing and discount structures. Before selecting a back-office platform, map the current pipeline, including the lead generation process, lead and opportunity scoring, opportunity stages and weighted forecasts. This is a great time to identify process improvements and consider automated workflows. Be sure these are added to the platform requirements.

The right back-office platform can streamline the pipeline and eliminate bottlenecks and manual workarounds with automated workflows and centralized data. High-tech companies benefit from the platform, facilitating seamless collaboration between different teams, accelerating productivity and reducing errors.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence For Operational Excellence

Businesses across multiple industries are adopting AI; however, it’s not as easy as just turning it on. Back-office platforms that include AI features must adhere to data governance and strict data management that can be easily configured and administrated.

Review the condition of existing data to identify holes, gaps and errors. This can be time-consuming but well worth the effort. Clean, accurate and complete data is the best foundation for harnessing the power of AI. The back-office platform functionality should include generative and predictive AI to avoid any costly and complex integrations. Confirm that important datasets are accessible to the AI capabilities to ensure the results deliver accurate, actionable insights and improve overall operational efficiency.

Seamless Integration For Enhanced Efficiency

Even top-tier back-office platforms cannot manage all the operations activities a high-tech company generally requires. However, they should be able to seamlessly integrate with the other back-office systems, such as ERP platforms.

To evaluate the integration options, the assessment must include all platforms in use, their functionality, department use, number of users and any existing integrations. Expect duplicate platforms such as Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365, among others, in this tech stack.

Integration of any or many of these platforms with the new back-office platform can facilitate the smooth flow of data across different departments, eliminating data silos and enabling holistic visibility. This integration capability can reduce internal information requests and overall operational complexities.

Focusing On Innovation: The Ultimate Benefit

The talent at high-tech companies is meant to create their products and services, not their back-office systems. By selecting the right back-office platform, high-tech companies can ensure their in-house programmers can focus on what they do best—innovation.

As important as operational efficiency is to a high-tech company, it is not more important than focusing on core competencies, product enhancement and innovation. These elements are crucial in a high-tech industry where staying ahead of technological advancements is a determining factor for success and increased revenue.

Conclusion

In conclusion, high-tech companies should devote the time necessary to prepare for and select the right back-office platform to ensure operational excellence and facilitate innovation. Key elements of the selection process include advanced reporting capabilities, streamlined pipelines, inclusion of AI technologies and seamless integration.

The combination of operational efficiency, engaged and happy customers and employees, and in-house programmers who can concentrate on core competencies can be a winning formula for high-tech companies. Choosing the right back-office platform is a strategic priority for success and scalability in the high-tech industry.


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