Today, no matter what services or products it provides, every company is a technology company. The companies that shape our world truthfully embrace this fact.
Today, no company can make, deliver or market its product competently without the help of technology. While the Internet and smart phones used to be cutting edge, these days, new application release dates and time to market for new technologies are dwindling. Companies which are habituated to a four-year release cycle are forced to adapt to these changes faster. Businesses must learn how to incorporate release cycles of the technology into their production and service cycles.
Companies that are keen towards adapting these new technologies quickly gain a foothold on the market.Following are some insights on how you can embrace technological advancements and ways they affect your business and customers.
Perceive Technology as a vital aspect of company culture, not an addendum
For companies to efficaciously make the changeover and become a technology company, cultures need to be altered to take into account the unique way that software development works and to highlight the importance of technology and the people who manage and build it. The engineers and innovators need to work towards it.
It is important to keep in mind that building a technology-driven culture is not just about free lunches and massages. The most important and scarcest commodity for developers is the uninterrupted ‘time’ to concentrate. So emphasize on providing tech-experts a private space or ‘work-from-home’ facilities and not the Ping-Pong tables, lounges, fire pits or chocolate fountains.
Companies need to adopt agile practices progressively
The pace of adopting new technologies has become faster over the years. For example, previously it took decades for telephones and electricity to reach 50% of US households, but today it only takes a few years or even less time for new technologies like smartphones and tablets to influence a majority of the population. This accentuates the importance for companies to continuously adopt new technologies that can improve the productivity and also to constantly experiment with these emerging technologies that have the potential to be disruptive to the business.
In this age of technology, where the world is moving towards cloud computing and other advancements in that genre, continuous development and continuous updates are the name of the game. Agile practices involve adaptive planning, evolutionary development, continuous improvement and early delivery. It enables you to continuously deliver better experiences for your customers encouraging rapid and flexible response to change.
Companies need to look forward and avoid getting caught in the innovator’s dilemma
The chief reason for why legacy competitors, despite of doing everything “right,” fail, and that becomes is the force of disruptive innovation as described in Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma. Businesses tend to reject innovations based on customers’ existing needs, while innovative upstarts develop products in a way that meets the customers’ future necessities.
It has been evident recently that automakers take very innovative approaches to automotive technology as autonomous vehicles move viciously in the startup world with the acquisitions of corporations like Otto, Cruise and public pilots of new technological expertise like Uber’s self-driving cars or Tesla’s Autopilot feature.
An automobile giant, Ford particularly, has been very focused on the autonomous future and the importance of being remarkable by working disparately in today’s fast-paced technology-driven world. Ford’s CEO, Mark Fields, has written that “As little as four years ago, our approach was aligned with the thinking of most automakers today, which is taking incremental steps to achieve full autonomy by advancing driver assist technology. This is not how we look at it today. We learned that to achieve full autonomy, we’d have to take a completely different pathway.”
Apprehend how technology is affecting your business
Initially, leaders must recognize how technology affects their business. This doesn’t constrain to one idea for a new app or website. It means categorically understanding of how technology organically flows through the business.
Synthesize how advancements in mobile solutions, cloud computing, extreme customer segmentation, and connectivity are all impacting the business. Perceive the decreasing cost, increasing functionality, changing customer base and social impact of the company as and when you move within the changing age of technology.
The employees, hardware, software and data must all flow together in harmony to produce results within the business.Since technology is a wave; you can either ride along or be wiped along.
Appreciate how technology affects your customers
Furthermore, leaders must understand how technology, apart from affecting their businesses, is also affecting their customers. Company leaders have to strategically design business plans, based on how customers adapt and use their technology.
Previously, as a company you would have to set the intervals in which you were open for business, and customers had to put up with it and adjust without that particular product. Now, technology has completely changed that, with the introduction of e-commerce and mobile phones, customers can access products at anytime. They have outstretched expectations on what is an acceptable customer service and what is not. As a business, you have to keep up with the changing consumer behavior or be out of business.
The competition to become a market leader across variety of subdivisions and geographies is getting fierce amongst older incumbents and the promising, young startups. Startups have a lot to learn from the financial practices and established management of incumbents, but incumbents also have a lot to learn from startups as well. The companies, young or old, that use technology to its best, while creating competitive advantages for themselves, will certainly win.
Technology needs to be a fundamental trait of the company’s DNA and culture as companies truly internalize that “Every company is a technology company”.