According to a recent study by The Economist Intelligence Unit, 56% of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) have cited that one of their top 5 aims for 2014 is to improve operational efficiency. Unlike their larger counterparts, many SMBs have fewer financial and human resources and therefore look to areas of the business where they can provide better efficiencies and productivity to save time and money.
One particular area of business that can help to improve operational efficiency is the IT department. With the use of smart screencapturing technology, an IT team can help to significantly enhance productivity for the wider business, from rolling out staff training and development and on boarding new employees to strengthening cross-department collaboration and communication.
Screencapturing technology enables a presenter to record a video of any onscreen activity – from applications to mouse clicks with audio commentary – into ‘snackable’ digital content that can then be used by an IT department to share with other departments.
Efficient Rollouts That Maximise ROI
Rolling out new technology internally to employees can be a costly addition to what is often an already significant investment for SMBs. As these companies are working with tighter budgets and resource constraints, video content offers the opportunity for an IT department to provide a wider team with an innovative, personal and interactive learning experience.
James McQuivey from Forrester Research believes that one minute of video is worth up to 1.8 million words. Businesses are increasingly shelving written guides that can be open to interpretation, hard to understand, unappealing and lack any personalisation. Furthermore, written manuals are often left on the shelf until an employee needs access to information, which could in turn be outdated, by the time they review the guide.
By rolling out how to guides or training on new IT systems or software applications for company-wide use by video, an IT team can have more time to support other strategic objectives, without significant disruptions. Videos can also be shared quickly and easily and on a range of devices, enabling employees to be able to learn, wherever and whenever, without the need for an IT employee to be present.
One company that has recently succeeded in using video to improve staff training is growing IT support and services company, Technology Services Group (TSG). TSG asks its 100 strong sales and marketing team, dispersed across 13 UK offices, to record and track its customer pipeline using CRM application, Microsoft Dynamics.
In the past, TSG briefed staff on how to use the CRM software through written PDF user guides and informal in-person training sessions with colleagues. The process was interpreted differently among the separate offices and as a result, new staff were sometimes taught to use the system in different ways. Following informal training, new staff also often forgot the training specifics. To streamline this process, TSG looked for ways to offer effective training on how to correctly use the application, across the business. The company turned to digital learning as a way to improve their operational efficiencies.
By using screencapturing technology, TSG created a number of training videos. The software allowed users to easily capture activity on their computer screen and share the recordings with viewers to watch anytime, on nearly any device. After the videos were made available to staff through a central Microsoft SharePoint portal, TSG found that staff were much more likely to learn and use the correct process. This improved reporting and now sales and marketing managers have more accurate insight into the customer pipeline, progress and performance of their campaigns.
Enabling Collaboration For Business Success
The use of screen capturing technology by an IT department can also aid sales and marketing initiatives. Fiona Stuart, TSG Marketing Manager explains “We are also looking at ways to use screen capturing technology to develop media rich marketing materials for our website, and create toolkits for our sales team to visually demonstrate our services and technology offerings to our customers. There are so many ways in which digital learning tools will deliver benefit for us in the future.”
Video As A Training Tool To Enhance Productivity
Within an SMB, the IT team is often relied upon to train new staff on how to use specific in-house systems and software programmes, quickly and efficiently, so that the employee can hit the ground running. As the IT team could be a team of one or two employees only, this could add to their pressures alongside their day-to-day tasks, troubleshooting and dealing with inbound technical support inquiries.
Furthermore, as competition between SMBs increases, recruiting and keeping hold of talent is crucial. With the rise of the millennial (gen Y employees who have grown up in the digital age), it’s imperative for businesses to appeal to this generation on the platforms that they are familiar with in order to keep them engaged with the business from the very beginning.
Recently, businesses and in turn their IT department, have begun to create and use video to offer visual demonstrations and walkthroughs as part of their onboarding strategies. Once the video has been created, it is available for every new starter and can also be revisited at any time if an employee needs to refresh their memory. This frees up the IT team to continue with other essential tasks as efficiently as possible.
Efficient Use Of Time, Effective Use Of Content
Screencasting can offer an IT team a cost effective and efficient way to visually demonstrate any new IT software that has recently been implemented within a business and help solve any recurring IT issues. These videos can cover a number of different topics and demonstrate features that are difficult to describe verbally over the phone or in written copy. These benefits are equally important to the IT team when training new staff and getting them up to speed as quickly and effectively as possible, ensuring new hires are being as productive as possible in a short time frame.
Beyond IT, screencapturing technology can also be used to create engaging, original content for use in sales and marketing initiatives, thus ensuring that the investment in this technology is far-reaching and long lasting for the business as a whole. As they say, a picture can be worth a thousand words.