The continuous evolution of technology has changed the way we do business. Manual processes are getting automated, and business processes continue to be better, faster and smarter. Unfortunately, many businesses still overlook technology because they see it as an added expense instead of embracing it as an investment for business growth.

Leveraging technology has enormous advantages, however. The right technology can simplify, automate and speed up many of the tasks you do in your business every day. Agile businesses rely on modern technology to be more efficient, more productive and more responsive to customer needs. Technology on its own doesn’t guarantee success, but it is hard to imagine success without it.

For instance, small-and-midsized businesses that leverage new technology have 10 points higher job growth and 11 points higher revenue growth than “low-tech” SMBs, according to research from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The right business technologies can help you streamline your business processes, understand and serve your customers. Technology strategy is inevitable for business growth.

Truly innovative businesses embrace collaboration

As companies mature and grow management hierarchies, the need to collaborate becomes even more crucial. Collaboration has become a driving force for continued efficiency and a necessity for improving the outcomes of many business activities. When your business runs with the best collaboration tools, everything from daily operations to customer service has accelerated productivity by transforming business processes. Collaboration tools can range from social media platforms to enterprise apps such as Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Project.

SharePoint enables businesses to share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork. Microsoft Teams, a chat-based workspace in Office 365, brings together people, conversations, and content—along with the tools that teams need—so they can easily collaborate to achieve more. Collaboration brings different teams, specialties, and opinions together to solve existing business problem or develop ideas for business growth.

Harness the power of the cloud

Businesses of all sizes are realizing the benefits of cloud technology and how it improves efficiency and productivity. The primary appeal of the cloud for many businesses owners is the fact that they can manage their businesses from anywhere and increase productivity without a spending a fortune on cloud technology. Emergent Research revealed that by 2020, 78 percent of small businesses will be “fully adapted” to cloud computing. Why not leverage the cloud for business growth now and stay ahead of the competition?

Making the most of cloud-based productivity tools and utilizing mobile technologies empowers you and your team to work effectively anytime, anywhere. If your employees can securely access company data from any place on multiple devices, this means quicker decisions and better communication. The cloud arms you and your team will powerful tools like access to servers, storage services, databases and business infrastructures whilst you concentrate on your core business.

Moving your business to the cloud not only increases productivity and collaboration, it also facilitates mobility and reduces expenditure. The rapid adoption of cloud-based platforms like Microsoft Office 365 is largely driven by the need to work anywhere, anytime, on any device together as a team. From Skype for messaging and video conferencing to OneDrive for storing all your important documents digitally, Office 365 has pretty much everything you’ll need to make your business more productive.

Understand what data analytics can do for your business

The ability to analyze and act on data is imperative to understanding and growing your business. Every business owner needs a clear understanding of company data —such as customer statistics, sales and growth analysis, purchase history, inventory, and more — to make informed decisions. Data becomes a secret weapon after it has been processed to add context, relevance, and purpose. The right data analytics tools can help you gain the insight you need to deliver intelligent actions that improve customer engagement, increase revenue and lower costs.

Microsoft Power BI takes business intelligence—what is normally a very complex and very expensive task—and turns it into something even a tech novice can accomplish. Data has become a lot more accessible and is no longer suitable for only data scientists or analysts. Now, it can be used by everyone within a company to increase productivity and improve decision-making.

The cloud-based service allows you to see your company’s data in new ways with interactive data visualization. Power BI delivers insights throughout your organization by connecting to hundreds of data sources and simplifying business data. Discover how powerful reporting can help improve your business decision process. With these tools, you can easily use your business data to serve your customers better.

Maximize growth and profitability by adopting and embracing new technology today. While it may not be feasible to adopt all new technology at once, a good rule of thumb is to invest in technology for areas of your business that make you money and will help you, your employees, and your customers right away.