Unified tech stack: The future of small business collaboration

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The traditional small business workplace has evolved in both its physical and operational means in recent years, with millions of businesses in hundreds of industries embracing new tools and methods to execute work seamlessly. Investment in technology surged in the wake of the pandemic, but with economic headwinds intensifying, Australian small business owners and decision-makers have a renewed focus on rationalising their IT spending and improving overall employee efficiency.

For businesses, a unified technology stack helps minimise cost and maximise efficiency. But what do we mean by a unified technology stack? Why is this streamlined approach more strategic for small businesses? And does your small business need to unify its technology stack?

What is a unified technology stack?

A unified, or ‘integrated’, technology stack is a solution that includes an entire suite of applications that connect together in one platform. This enables seamless integration and data exchange between every tool, and therefore all the processes and departments that rely on them. Rather than your business relying on different vendors and paying for different applications for sales and marketing, finance, human resources, business analytics, collaboration etc, an integrated approach enables you to use one vendor for every technology need.

The more vendors your business uses, the greater the cost, the longer the time required to implement and master the technology and the greater risk of silos forming around individual tools, departments or processes. On the contrary, a unified and integrated technology stack generally means lower cost, greater efficiency and more productivity and collaboration across an entire business. So if rationalising spending and driving efficiency are two key focuses for small businesses, the value of unification is evident.

Why is unification beneficial today?

A unified technology stack provides competitive advantages by enabling business owners to drive more cost- and time-efficiencies. Business owners know that a collaborative and communicative team is a stronger team, and the same is the case for your technology, too. Through unified technology businesses can manage all your customers, teams, data, processes and channels on the same platform; ensuring customer experience is consistent and efficient.

Unified technology enables you to streamline your team’s workload, too, by reducing time spent on manual work like switching between tools and data entry. That enables them to focus more on strategic, meaningful or revenue-generating tasks. Productivity and efficiency are essential ‘soft skills’ small businesses need, and unification is perhaps their single biggest driver.

Does your business need to unify its technology stack?

If you’re spending too much on technology or your team is spending more time than is ideal on mundane tasks, or not communicating as they should, you likely need a unified tech stack. The role of unified technology, ultimately, is to enable businesses to unify their work to a point where the line between apps disappears.

Creating a unified technology stack may sound like a daunting process, especially for small businesses that don’t have a Chief Technology Officer. It’s actually far easier than many realise, though. In fact, we’re seeing a significant shift in Australian small businesses adopting collaborative, unified technology. Zoho Workplace has seen a 38 per cent year-on-year growth in businesses adopting the platform.

So, whether you’re in retail or real estate, manufacturing or the creative industries, and cost- and time-efficiencies are your big focus for the months ahead, look at your existing technology. Through a unified approach to technology, your small business can save time and money in both the short- and long-term, whilst overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities as traditional workplaces digitises beyond recognition.