The industrial revolution paved the way for traditional office life where the average worker would “clock in” for work in a centralized office much like they would at a factory.   As we are embarking on the “ingenuity economy” the old mindset of working in a central location will potentially become a thing of the past, and creativity and innovation supported by distributed employees and partners will be the new norm.

Beyond what is happening in more forward-thinking Silicon Valley start-ups, many organizations are already embracing distributed environments where employees, partners, vendors and clients are dispersed in different locations.

A key component to bringing this “virtual work reality” to life are web-based technologies and applications that allow for enhanced communications and business processes that make these organizations highly productive, efficient and effective.

The right web-based software applications and tools allow companies to share the right information with vendors, satellite offices, home-based employees, franchisees, individual brick-and-mortar locations and beyond.   And because data is centralized, applications can provide incredibly powerful reporting tools that senior management can access, giving them insightful data on sales and marketing efforts, customer preferences, operations, and a multitude of metrics to improve their decision-making capabilities.  The result is improved profitability, where revenues can be increased and operating costs decreased, thereby improving the bottom line from both sides of the equation.

Cutting-edge start-ups aren’t the only ones to benefit from web technologies that enhance their business.  We have developed many such web-based software applications for one of our Fortune 500 clients, a global lodging company that has been in business for more than 70 years.  An example is a custom web application that automated their workflow for managing the requests of sales promotions at their many hotels throughout the US.  This has saved a great deal of time for their corporate support staff responsible for overseeing the process, gave regional sales managers insight into the marketing efforts of their hotels, and provided senior  management with metrics for monitoring promotional activity for all of their hotels.

From global organizations with locations throughout the world to virtual companies with employees spread out through the U.S., web-based technology serves as the critical enabler for businesses to be more effective and ultimately prosper.  And, regardless of what product or service your organization provides, the goal should always be to improve productivity and profitability – no matter where you are located.

Posted by: Steve Short, President, NetLink Resource Group