By Alex Reeves, Professional Services Solutions Divisional Director (Customers), Access Group

Technology is transforming the way we work. One of the most fundamental advances technology has made in relation to flexible working is its ability to provide access to real-time data.

Cloud technology is removing the potential constraints of traditional office working by enabling real-time business insights to be shared, while allowing people to easily work on multiple projects in the same online space. This not only creates time and cost efficiencies, but ultimately means businesses have the ability to operate and grow on a global scale.

It is vital that businesses instil building blocks to effectively monitor any ongoing projects in terms of both time and workforce arrangements. One way technology achieves this, is by making finance systems and timesheets available electronically.

How can real time data help us run projects more effectively?

Real-time information will be instrumental to the future of working practice. Within the next five to ten years, I believe that emerging technologies will continue to create drastic changes to the way businesses operate – and for the better.

The improvements in mobile technology means workers will have the chance to become increasingly field-based, using mobile technology to approve invoices, complete a timesheet or even record a travel expense anytime, anywhere. However, despite the beneficial aspects of working on the cloud, our research shows that only 18 per cent of people have seen an increased use of flexi-time or flexible working patterns.

One of the most common mistakes made by businesses is failure to keep control of ongoing projects. Adopting integrated software can help businesses to become more equipped with all the tools needed to gain a competitive advantage in today’s fast moving marketplace.

By ensuring that workers have the ability to track projects on a daily basis, checking progress and monitoring checkpoints can be done with ease whilst on the move. Rather than filling in a paper form at the end of a busy week, employees are now able to complete timesheets online and more importantly, do this in real time on any mobile device. Emerging finance systems also enable employees to instantly record every purchase order and invoice.
Tools which centralise information through cloud based platforms are playing a key role in helping businesses to keep control of their projects, monitor progress, keep costs down and crucially save time which could be invested on growing the business.