Nine ways technology helps
Clients around the world keep telling me running a business today is ten times tougher than it used to be. In many ways, they’re right. We all have more demanding customers, more and stronger competition, increased complexity, shrinking margins, not to mention the challenge of attracting and keeping top talent. So, in some ways running a business is more challenging than ever. But in many ways running a business today is easier than ever before. It’s all about ‘technology’.
As you look to technology to give you the competitive advantage you need, it will be useful not to lump technology into one big confusing mess, but rather to examine how technology can help you in each specific area and function of your business.
Sit down with some of the best minds in your business, or department, and use the nine-point checklist below to explore the possibilities. Seek expert help. Every business should have one or more trusted technology ‘heroes’ to keep them ahead of the pack.
So, here’s your checklist of where technology can bring you the competitive advantage you need. Make a list of each one that has possibilities for you – then investigate, decide and do. A few of these possibilities may not apply to your business but most will.
- Technologies that will help design and create new and better products and/or services.
- Technologies that will help produce and operate more efficiently and with higher and more consistent quality.
- The technologies of logistics that will more quickly, efficiently and accurately deliver products or services to existing customers – and perhaps to a wider customer base.
- Technologies that will improve the speed, quality, depth, breadth, individuality and consistency of the service and experiences you deliver.
- Technologies that more efficiently communicate your compelling value message to customers as a group and as individuals.
- Technologies that allow you to listen to, understand, engage with and respond to your customers as a group and as individuals.
- The equipment, systems and process technologies that allow you to operate, control and manage every aspect of your business more effectively.
- Technologies that help you operate in a more environmentally responsible, less wasteful and more sustainable way.
- The technology of researching best practices and emerging new business models. This one is easy. It’s called Google, which can be used to study competitive web sites; find articles of interest; discover who in your industry – worldwide – is doing innovative new things; and, what disruptive new business models could become your new worst enemy.
So, there you have it. Nine ways technology can help create a competitive advantage in every part of your business. What will you do with this and when? Do you have a technology ‘hero’ or two who constantly coaches and challenges you to get ahead and stay ahead?
Here’s something else to think about:
Could you get along without the internet? It’s estimated about 3.5 billion people (half of the world’s total population) are still unable to access the internet.
LinkSure Network, a Chinese company, is planning to launch 272 satellites over the next eight years to deliver free internet access across the globe.
Eating out takes a bigger share of our food budget. Even with the huge popularity of cooking shows of all types on television, Business Insider reports eating out now accounts for 43% of the annual food expenditures for families, on average, in North America. Perhaps many people spend more time watching cooking shows than they spend actually cooking.