Technology is not only changing the way we work – it’s leading to a fundamental transformation at the heart of all businesses, driven by the way clients and consumers behave in a digital world.
But what are the ways that technology is changing how we do business?
1. The cloud has become the platform for change
There is no longer a question of whether your business should be using the cloud – it is a certainty that this is where the next generation of solutions will be based. Cloud services take away issues around hardware costs and systems obsolescence and create an agile, scalable and cost-effective platform for change.
Perhaps most importantly, cloud-based solutions equip businesses to take full advantage of the three most powerful technology-driven tools – the so-called “nexus of forces” of mobile, social media and big data.
2. Is it a marathon or a sprint? It might be both
In the IT world, we talk about “bimodal capability” – the ability to operate at two different speeds.
This recognises that many businesses will need to continue to operate safe and reliable traditional IT systems while cultivating a more innovative and fluid capability that takes advantage of the continuous flow of information in the digital world.
Gartner gives a train company as an example – it needs to keep the trains running with a traditional system while interacting with passengers moment to moment through mobile apps. This shift means a single mode of delivering IT is no longer appropriate – and in any business, the ability to apply the right solution to the task in hand will be crucial in the future.
3. All businesses are digital now
Analysts estimate that a failure to handle the transition to digital properly will cause 25 per cent of businesses to lose their market position by 2017.
While you work to expand your products and services it is important not to focus on the technology itself, but on how it changes the way you engage with your end customers. Think about how the internet has seen businesses evolve – most started with a static web presence and evolved to embrace some form of e-commerce. Now the lines between a digital and physical presence are becoming increasingly blurred.
With the advent of technologies such as 3D printing and smart devices, digital is going to become a part of the strategy for all businesses – and a transforming factor for many.
Philips, for instance, has created new revenue streams by redefining light bulbs as connected devices. Disney is now a multimedia company, and the sportswear company Under Armour has taken this philosophy a step further by buying the app MyFitnessPal – along with its treasure trove of user data.
If you don’t consider yourself a digital company now, the chances are that you soon will.
Read more trends on page two…
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