Any business that thinks technology is anything less than vital to their success, is very mistaken. It affects pretty much every facet of your company’s daily life; from development and manufacturing to marketing and distribution. What’s more, with our reliance on different types of technology set to become even more intense in the future, if you’re not taking adequate steps to prepare now, you’ll end up with outdated systems and processes that will ultimately make things much more difficult for your business.
In order to be able to make sure that you’re as up to date as possible, you first need to develop an in-depth understanding of how technology effects your business, and how you can use it to your advantage. Technology insights from Global Database comes in handy with these requests, along with a range of other tools which we’ll explore in this article.
The Importance of Staying Up to Date
As is shown in the infographic below, taken from Deloitte’s 2017 Connected Small Business report, the benefits for companies that put the effort into using technology efficiently are numerous; their revenue and growth see much better results.
Meanwhile, those businesses that are relying on outdated tech are likely to see their activities hampered in several ways, such as:
- Larger Overheads – Research from Sharp found that almost 40 minutes are wasted per employee per day in UK offices, costing businesses over £2,100 per employee per year. The biggest example of time wasting due to inefficient methods was revealed to be searching for files on a server; around 23 minutes are lost each day thanks to poor search tools.
- Customer Satisfaction – Being able to move buyers along each stage of the sales process smoothly is essential to the overall customer experience. In addition, a study by Microsoft found that 91% of customers say they would stop doing business with a company because of its outdated technology.
- Missed Opportunities – Utilising the latest technology means you have a much greater chance of attracting an audience. In order to keep up with your competitors you need to ensure that potential customers are able to find your business organically, and also that you’re targeting them effectively using the right channels.
- Reputation – If word gets out that your company is stuck in the dark ages when it comes to tech, it won’t be long before your reputation suffers and you find a decreasing number of new leads coming forward. With the number of industry blogs and influencers in today’s digital realm it’s all too easy for negative publicity to affect your brand.
Now we’ve looked at some of the reasons why using up to date tech is important, let’s explore the different impacts it can have on a business.
Technology is the Core of the Future
There’s no doubt that our use of technology will continue its meteoric rise in the not-so-distant future, so if you’re behind you could very well find your company lagging behind, or your products becoming obsolete. Monitoring the tools and software that your most successful competitors are using is a good idea as is gives you a clearer picture of what’s working in your niche.
Global Database’s Technology Insights platform allows you to look at the technology businesses in over 190 countries are using – this is also extremely useful when targeting new leads, as it allows you to segment companies accordingly, and then market to them in different ways.
So, what specific types of systems and techniques are likely to have the biggest impact on business in the future?
- The Internet of Things (IoT) – The IoT is expected to become much more mainstream by 2020, and will see billions of devices connected to the internet (and each other). This will mean your business will need to track more data than ever before, so you need to start preparations to ensure you’ll be able to handle it, probably with the addition of data analysts and more advanced software. Security could also be an issue, so you’ll need to have a robust system in place. IBM suggests the following items will be needed:
-A secure OS with firmware guarantees
-Authentication and access control
-Data privacy protection
-And strong application security
Source: Vector Software
- Global Opportunities – Using more advanced software often enables you to reach out to companies and consumers on a global scale, and then transfer resources much more efficiently, while things like video conferencing allow you to communicate with colleagues, business partners or clients anywhere in the world.
- Faster Processing – While the increase of technology will mean more efficient and time-saving solutions for you, it will also mean your customers expect everything to move faster. It’s therefore imperative that you ensure you are delivering a sales process that is speedy enough to match their expectations – or risk losing out to your competitors.
- Mobile Usage – Having a mobile responsive site is already important; aside from the fact that more and more people use mobile devices, there’s also the fact that Google’s algorithms have been adapted to have a preference for websites that offer seamless mobile browsing. Having the right software for mobile devices is not only useful for your customers, however; it can also enable you to ensure the smooth-running of your business wherever you are; something that 42% of business owners have wised up to, according to the image below from Salesforce.
Technology Impacts Your Way of Thinking
When you have a tech-focused mindset, you’ll find it much easier to find more relevant solutions for both yourself and your customers. At Global Database we want to make the web a transparent, yet business-oriented intelligence solution, which is why we think it’s important to provide detailed insights into what the world is using for their business. Using our B2B intelligence, while following the practices below, will mean that you’ll have a more structured idea on how to grow your business.
- Commitment to Learning – With new technologies comes the requirement of knowing how to use them in the most efficient way possible, in order to stay ahead of the curve. It’s therefore important that you ensure your team are given regular training to add new skill-sets and broaden their knowledge as software is adapted and updated.
- Customer Empathy – With the wealth of data being made available every day, there’s no excuse for not having an in-depth understanding of your customers and their needs. Use analytics to find out who is engaging with your brand, and then create targeted campaigns based around different segments; a B2B intelligence platform is a good place to start when looking for new leads based on demographic details.
- Take a Break – Downtime is important; being constantly surrounded by technology can easily become exhausting. Although it can be hard to take a step back, it’s important to take some time away from your laptop and fight the temptation to check your emails or other work-related content.
Technology Changes the Way You Work
Technology can alter the way your business functions in a big way, at every stage. Here are just some of the impacts it can have on your everyday activities:
- Increased Productivity – Perhaps the biggest impact occurs in the efficiency of your processes and systems. Despite this, there are still plenty businesses choosing to use outdated methods instead; just look at the graph below from Salesforce – 44% of businesses are still using email to store customer data, while 15% are using paper-based methods. It’s probably safe to assume that many of these businesses would see a much better productivity rate if they updated their systems, and more revenue as a result.
- Easier Communication – Employing new technologies can also help your business communicate much more efficiently, both with your team and customers. Email segmentation and automation, apps, and instant chat tools all make it easier to maintain a dialogue, and more advanced marketing techniques such as dynamic remarketing and automated marketing mean you’re able to reach new leads more easily.
- Consider Outsourcing – As technology makes it increasingly easier to share resources and communicate more easily with staff, an increasing number of companies are outsourcing work. This is not only beneficial for workers who are able to have a more flexible arrangement, but for companies too; research from Otterman suggests that it saves them between 30 and 70 percent. It’s estimated that 40% of the American workforce will be freelancers by 2020.
- Engage Wider Audience – As the charts from Deloitte below show, companies that have more advanced technology use are able to reach and serve customers further afield. If you’re aiming to increase your market share by targeting customers in new localities, don’t underestimate the importance of employing new technologies to do so.
The rise of technology has already seen huge impacts on the majority of businesses; and it’s only going to continue to do so. Businesses that fail to adopt new technologies in their niche will soon find themselves falling behind and their share of the market decreasing. Although implementing any new technology will always carry risks, by being prepared and ensuring staff are adequately trained, the whole process will become much smoother.
With all the devices, tools and software available it’s important to keep track of what’s being used by whom; particularly when you’re servicing a specific market. With Global Database’s Technology Insights, you’re notified when a business changes its technology use, allowing you to take action immediately where necessary.