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Top 10 Tech Trends for 2014

As companies gain more affordable access to new technology and platforms, they also seek to make smarter investments. As we begin 2014, James Cashin, partner at McGladrey, has identified 10 common strategies in how companies are capitalizing on their IT investments to best implement process improvements and increase performance.

Assessing the IT environment Assessing the IT environment

While the reduction in technology costs in the early and mid-2000s led many companies to invest and even over-invest in new platforms and applications, organizations are now more closely evaluating how these investments align with their business goals. By scaling back platforms and implementing new tools, they can collect better information more efficiently.

Looking for opportunities to outsource Looking for opportunities to outsource

As the economy recovers, organizations are prioritizing efficiency and thus considering strategic outsourcing initiatives. Many companies are also implementing a lean IT model composed of a technology team of experienced internal resources and strategic outsourcing providers. They can outsource all or certain segments of their IT platform, including more nontraditional technology processes like finance and flexibility.

Gaining better business information Gaining better business information

Continuing the efficiency theme, companies are trying to collect more actionable information by enhancing their current system environment or looking into its effectiveness in relation to the platform’s cost. Cloud-based solutions and other lower-cost technologies are giving them other options to gaining optimal value.

Ensuring IT governance Ensuring IT governance

Companies are evaluating their IT governance strategies to continually align IT and the needs of the business using mature, proven processes.

Increasing compliance and controls Increasing compliance and controls

As companies evaluate their systems, they’re seeing a need for better internal controls and data management to help focus on vulnerabilities in system and data security, cyber hacking prevention, and addressing compliance requirements for personal data.

Improving cash control Improving cash control

In determining how to better control cash and manage the treasury cycle, businesses are seeking several available solutions to leverage, manage and forecast cash to make more effective financial projections and decisions.

Integrating collaborative technology Integrating collaborative technology

In the virtualized environment of cloud and collaborative technologies, organizations are using tools like SharePoint, though not all are fully taking advantage of the platform’s capabilities to manage, store and share data.

Using shared service centers Using shared service centers

Many upper mid-market companies are exploring and implementing shared service centers that integrate technology into their back office for better work flow. These shared service centers eliminate many manual accounts payable tasks while addressing and centralizing redundant AP functions to create stronger controls, efficiency and cash forecasting.

Implementing “seek and automate” strategies Implementing “seek and automate” strategies

In streamlining operations, companies are more aggressively seeking out inefficient manual processes and improving and then automating them, leading to greater efficiency that translates to greater profit.

Getting mobile Getting mobile

Companies are increasingly using mobile devices to manage the workforce, integrate tools that streamline processes, enhance controls, and increase flexibility. Under this mobile strategy, employees can also work remotely, increasing efficiency and end user satisfaction.

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