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Microsoft Industry Blogs - United Kingdom

We’ve all had growing pains. It’s a fact of life. And just like humans, businesses experience these too. But unlike humans, business growth doesn’t need to be painful.

We want to help you make growing your business easy and stress-free. After all – you started your business because you had a passion and drive. This doesn’t deserve to be buried under mountains of pressure.

Here’s some tips on how you can leverage technology to help ease those growing pains and take the stress out of running your business.

1. Using data to drive valuable business changeA team meeting with a male collegue working on Power BI on this Surface Book.

Data is what helps you outpace the competition and retain and attract customers. Howell Jones Solicitors is one company looking to make the most of its data by harnessing the tools within Power BI. The ability to access real-time insights enables them to maximise billable time.

Best of all, it empowers more efficient decision-making, all while staying compliant with regulations.

With Power BI you get access to the latest innovations in AI. It no longer requires hours and hours of an employee combing through data. AI will ingest and transform this data quickly – meaning that employees now have more time to action those insights instead of finding them.

But the great thing about these features is that they require no coding skills, thus enabling every Power BI user in your company to discover actionable insights in data, producing better business outcomes.

“People equipped with knowledge and insight can make faster decisions with the utmost confidence in the data they have based them upon. They can plan for busy times, and report with insight at their fingertips. They can make forward-looking decisions that grow the business and deliver a distinct advantage.”

Chris Cato, Operations Director at Howell Jones Solicitors

2. Drive business growth with a modern workplace A cafe owner talks to an employee with a Surface device

83 percent of SMB’s are now using the cloud, and it’s a cost-effective way to scale your business and work flexibly.

Jellyfish, a multi-award-winning visual effects and animation studio recently made the shift. They previously used on-premise servers for storing and rendering data sets, but found that rendering in this way was computer-intensive and time-consuming.

In order to stay competitive, they would have to bid on jobs, knowing they’d have to purchase extra servers to complete the work. What’s even more stressful is while the computers were working away, the talented employees were waiting around for it to complete before they could start work again.

So, they shifted to the cloud. They used Microsoft Azure to augment their on-premise rendering farm with high-performance computing resources, which could scale with the workload while staying secure. Best of all – because most of the work was done off-premise, it meant their employees would gain back those precious hours and could get back to doing their creative work.

Thanks to the cloud, small and medium businesses have access to the same calibre of technology that their enterprise counterparts use. This removes the barriers that you’ll often face, enabling you to shift from a CapEx to an OpEx business model, and making it easier for you to drive industry transformation but with less stress.

3. Drive employee satisfaction

What do these tools have in common? They’re designed to make work easier for employees, lowering stress and giving them back time to do what they love – whether it’s spend more time with customers, or being creative and driving insights.

Tools like Power BI enable you to gather insight from a broader cross-section of people, thanks to the fact that it requires no development skills to use. By training your teams to access data though the Power BI dashboards and reports, you will provide them with the confidence and skills they need to deliver new insights and become a more valuable member of the team.

Because these insights can be accessed at the touch of the finger, employees are much more productive. Power BI and other Microsoft 365 tools and apps can be used across devices, meaning it’s easy for your employees to collaboratively no matter where they are.

And tools like Azure make it easy and cost-effective for SMB’s to scale with their business, while giving them Enterprise-calibre tools.

Using your data and analytics, think about your current KPIs and business values. Figure out how you can use these insights to make a real positive difference to your business and don’t let stress take over from what you love.