Productivity apps put businesses in the fast lane

Most business owners are still losing up to 10 hours of productivity each week on tasks like email and administration without realising the potential of productivity apps.

SME owners are turning to technology to help improve productivity and free up time to innovate, according to a new Telstra survey of Australia’s leading businesses. A recent survey of Telstra Business Awards Alumni found nearly three in four (71%) business leaders feel they could improve their businesses through the use of better productivity apps.

About 99% of those surveyed said productivity gains delivered through technology would make them more effective at work with more than half saying they would use the extra time to innovate in their business.

The survey comes as Telstra launches new Telstra BizEssentials and DOT (Digital Office Technology) plans.

Mr Stuart Bird, Executive Director, Telstra Fixed Products and Services, said the inclusion of an Apps Marketplace credit in the new business broadband bundles would help businesses take the hassle out of daily tasks and free up time to focus on what matters most to their business.

“While 86% of SMEs have initiatives in place to boost productivity in their workforce, most business owners are still losing up to 10 hours of productivity each week on tasks like email and administration, without realising the potential of productivity apps,” Bird said.

“From cutting back on email by using an app that offers instant messaging and video chat, to making it easier to keep up to date with paperwork, apps can help make day-to-day tasks more efficient for any business,” Bird said.

Telstra Business Awards Alumni cited collaboration as the most common benefit of technology, followed by workforce management.

“One of the most popular apps in the Telstra Apps Marketplace is Microsoft Office 365, which is great for collaboration and flexible working, but there are also countless business needs being addressed by new apps popping up all the time,” Bird said.

With more than 40 apps available, the Telstra Apps Marketplace offers solutions for workflow management, content sharing, e-Commerce, social media management and more.

Mr Scott Butler, 2009 Telstra Business Award finalist, and co-owner of Organic Angels says that the nature of his business means he is out of the office most of day and needs access to his emails and work documents on the go.

“I use DocuSign when exchanging documents with my accountant. This eliminates the old two- to five-day wait for post and again just increases my businesses efficiency. The monthly cost of apps is great for cashflow as there are no large software licensing costs up front,” Butler said.

“Cloud sharing and DocuSign allow me to be more efficient on the go and allows my staff work flexibly. The increased flexibility and efficiency means I have more time to deliver to my customers and grow my business,” Butler said.

With more than two million apps in the Apple App Store and 2.2 million available for Android, Bird said finding the right technology to help boost productivity can be overwhelming.

“Telstra has done the hard work for SMEs, selecting applications from world-leading providers and curating them into a comprehensive catalogue, while offering the best of Telstra’s trusted 24/7 technical support,” Bird said.

Inside Small Business

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