Norfolk Business Awards: Technology is an enabler of everything
- Credit: Archant
The Norfolk Business Awards 2020 are now open for entries! Christopher Cooper, director at Computer Service Centre, which sponsors the Tech Innovator award, tells us more about the importance of investing in technology.
Why have you chosen to support the Norfolk Business Awards?
If there was a time to support the awards, now without doubt is that time. We need to assist our local companies by raising their profiles and showcasing their services and products.
This year has been a huge challenge and will continue to be for some time, so now is not the time to retrench away from standing out in front.
As a long standing supporter of the Norfolk Business Awards, we feel it is our duty to keep calm and carry on.
Why is it important for businesses to invest in technology?
I do enjoy this question when asked. Technology is an enabler of everything. Since the pandemic arrived, a huge proportion of the UK workforce has been told to “work at home if you can”, which for us meant all 65 team members.
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Without continued investment in technology, a business will not survive.
In this digital age, how can technology help businesses keep ahead of the competition?
Technology covers so many areas. It could be internal systems which improve your business productivity and therefore assists in cost reduction and control. This would then have a positive effect on keeping the costs down for your clients, or increasing your margin.
It might be a new platform for helping team members make better decisions, as ably demonstrated by a previous Norfolk Business Awards winner, Rainbird Technologies.
You might be servicing your clients in new and intuitive ways that assist them with their clients, such as a better ordering system, which saves them time and therefore money.
Over the past quarter of a century, I have witnessed a huge array of technology solutions which have given many companies the edge, including what Computer Service Centre has delivered for itself.
Can good tech drive efficiency and growth?
Without question, when considered and implemented properly. If this was not the case, why has it continued to expand and develop?
We are now in the Information Age as well as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, pretty much says it all really.
What will you be looking for in the winner of your category?
Every year, we look for innovation and a uniqueness in what the entry is producing.
If you are considering your entry because it has helped increase revenues, demonstrate this within your submissions and ensure you can prove a link between your solution and your finances.
If, however, it is a new product or service which you think is innovative and not simply a reproduction of an existing idea, a clear presentation of it and how it is different, will set you apart from your competitors.
What advice would you give those who are considering entering?
It is not enough to simply do what everyone else is doing and hope that you will win the award.
As technology is now within every corner of a modern business, you will need to demonstrate why you should be shortlisted and then be chosen as the potential winner.
All too often, applicants do not put enough effort into their submission, or they do not make their story clear.
Remember, as judges, we have a short window to review potential winners, so if the story isn’t clear, then a brilliant application may not be noticed.
TECH INNOVATOR AWARD CRITERIA
Norfolk is home to a growing community of innovative tech companies, underscored by the fact that Norwich is now recognised as a tech city.
This award seeks to find the company that has placed technology at the heart of its operation, not only as part of its own product/service offer, but also to address business challenges and improve day-to-day operations for itself and clients.
Judges will be looking for businesses that use tech to innovate and to become more efficient and productive. The business may have recently grown as a result of IT investment or used technology to support business growth.
The winner will be a company that has harnessed the power of digital technologies which could include one or a combination of the following: mobile, social, cloud, Big Data and, of course, the underlying Internet, to build or transform business models.
It could be an established business that is using these new technologies to engage more effectively with its customers, or it could be a newer business that could only successfully exist and grow in the digital age.
Engagement, connectivity and interactivity will be key attributes the judges will be looking for in the finalists and winner.
To enter the Norfolk Business Awards click here.