How do you use technology in your business?

Smiley faces, the Mailchimp click-map and reminders triggered by arriving and leaving locations were just some of the cool things we learnt at the first Technology for Success group gathering at Exeter Science Park.

Thanks so much everyone for getting involved and contributing. Chat around the big tech issues for SMEs quickly became a long list – using the right tech tools, being proactive not reactive, communication within organisations, shifting to be more strategic in use of tech, getting buy-in from employees, on-going learning, doing your research, the best ways of adopting new tech, culture and trust – and that was just in the first half an hour!

We grouped some of these into key themes that will help shape the direction and future sessions of the group, which is all about learning and getting better at how we use technology within our organisations and as business leaders ourselves.

Then we moved on to digital trends for SMEs. For me, there are six key areas – mobile, voice and chatbots, automation, collaboration tools, embedding data in business strategies and artificial intelligence. Again, there was lots of discussion and examples. People are clearly already exploring new tools and ways of working in different areas, but there’s also uncertainty about the steps to take and what areas it’s worth focusing on.

Summing up, everyone agreed that finding time to think about your technology strategically is hard but essential, it’s about empowering and supporting your people rather than considering the technology in isolation, and that knowledge, engagement and support are vital to successful use of tech. Oh – and the learning never stops!

The good news is. We’ve agreed to meet again – but not before Christmas! And if all that wasn’t exciting enough, we did a prize draw for everyone who’s already completed the survey. Congratulations Mark Noble of OTB Eveling for winning a pair of tickets to Exeter Chiefs v Wasps. And well done Luke Lang of Crowdcube for winning the Amazon Dot!

At the next gathering we’ll be looking at the results of the big Tech for Success survey that is running to take part and receive your own bespoke report. The group is open to all and it’s still early days – we’re thinking about the format, topics, how we learn etc. Do let us know if you want to get involved!

Bookings for our next event are already open. We look forward to seeing you there!

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