By Sergey Kazakov
Business portals seem to be the latest “buzz word”. Although for many small to mid-sized businesses with limited IT resources, the concept of a portal may seem like an expensive endeavor and one that may not be applicable to small business. Quite the opposite.
Small to mid-sized businesses stand to gain the most from portals, as well conceived and developed portals provide small to midsized companies with technology, information management, and a level of business intelligence previously reserved for larger companies. This combination enables smaller companies to compete better while still maintaining the advantage of being agile in moving the business quickly in the right direction.
Portals are often modular and can differ in the customized information they provide. Furthermore, they often involve leveraging a technology development investment by a third party, not the small business- another favorable factor. Following are 5 immediate benefits that businesses can realize from incorporating portals into their operations:
Portals often have a systematic feed of information (such as financial data) providing business owners with immediate access to critical data. This results in more accurate and expedient decision making by business owners, backed by the confidence that they are making decisions knowing the “full story”.
Portals are typically cloud based, allowing users access to the portal from anyplace with an internet connection. This promotes collaboration among remote employees, traveling sales team members, and partner companies as they can all access information needed for projects and initiatives.
Often, one concern that small to midsized businesses collectively share is that of business continuity and contingency planning. If one employee is typically the central “repository” of information- financial, reporting or otherwise- having vast amounts of information residing just with that single employee can be detrimental to the business in the event something happens to that individual. A portal allows for a centralized access to information so that multiple users share insights into key information. In addition, the portal developer or provider often maintains a secure backup system for critical data, further reinforcing the ability for business continuity in light of unforeseen circumstances, natural disasters, etc.
One feature that is extremely beneficial is the electronic document storage and management that many portals offer. This allows for remote access to templates, reports and critical documents for businesses.
Depending on the portal’s functionality and design, one element that can be extremely useful is the ability to control the level of access or privileges based on the users’ needs. For example, a company’s vendor may have one level of access to submit invoices, but the company’s CPA may have a higher permission level for evaluating financials.
Leveraging portals allows small businesses to increase work efficiencies and improve the quality of the output by facilitating access to key pieces of information and resources. Moreover, some portals can be customized to the specific needs of an industry or company, providing even more robust insights.
The team of professionals at Analytix Solutions has expertise creating web portals for use by our client base. We are currently offering a free analysis of your business processes and accounting system. If you would like to learn more on how Analytix Solutions can help move your business forward, please call us today at 781.503.9002 or email us [email protected].