Technology doesn’t follow a clear straight line today, it touches and changes everything. It improves and revolutionalizes business strategy exponentially, bringing about growth to all it touches. When applied in the business world, you get accelerating returns instead of linear advancement. As Greg Satell, a former SVP at Publicis Groupe and Co-CEO of KP Media notes, ‘accelerating returns is the new economy‘. Let’s take a closer look at four ways that technology can strengthen and elevate the new destination of your business through the coming year.
Quick response to changes in the market, using new software and hardware developed to send information directly from consumer to the manufacturer resulting in faster turnaround of market knowlege, understanding the ‘collective wisdom’ that the information provides across the global economy, and the abundance that is becoming the truth of today around the world economically through technology. Visualize your business plans not as a string, but as a garden full of lush, branching vines. These are but four of these ‘vines’ and as a foundation they make your business stronger and more adaptable to both times of growth and rest.
Because of quicker profit reporting and information flowing from the point of sale to the manufacturer, business strategies today have a shorter shelf life. What once took months to see now takes only a few days. Technology is changing the world too quickly for one “great business strategy” to encompass decades of vision. Whether it’s the head of a division or a visionary CEO at the very top, technology today impels them to be more adaptive instead of chalking out a rigid grand scheme and sitting on it. Much like a healthy garden, your business must be easily adaptable to new technology, changes in the market, needs of the consumer, financial drought, or excellence in marketplace that require more production.
Consider the fact that in 10 years, computers will be 100 times as powerful, but a thousand times more powerful in 15 years….and a MILLION times as powerful in 30 years. And it isn’t merely about computers. Similar exponential growth is seen in areas ranging from medicine to energy. With proper investment and planning, technology will not only be saving more money, but saving countless lives.
There was a time when innovation was limited to a certain place and time. While this is still true to some extent, technology has largely blurred geographical lines. For instance, although Silicon Valley still rules the technology landscape, there are other hotbeds of innovation spread across the world. One of Apple’s largest competitors isn’t in the same city, but a world away, in South Korea. Many of the world’s fastest growing economies are based in Central Asia and Africa.
The reality is that technology has connected everyone, and this has a dramatic impact on how effective business strategies are defined. Consider the fact that 2.4 billion people are online. That’s about a third of the world’s population. Technology has enabled “normal people” to communicate and collaborate through different time zones. As a result, reverse innovation has become a big thing in the world of business strategy. Like a healthy, branching ‘vine’ covering the world, one-third of the world’s population are connected to each other, sharing experiences, opinions, and ideas.
Although great individuals continue to impact our world, technology has enabled collective masses to make a bigger impact than ever. Teams are trumping stars, movements are overshadowing dynamic leaders. This also impacts the way businesses operate and how they create strategies to achieve their goals and objectives. Businesses are putting more emphasis on the collective wisdom of many, instead of just relying on the charisma of a few. This respect for the increasingly connected workforce and the audience they’re trying to reach continues to revolutionize how business strategies are defined and executed.
The list of things that computers can do better than humans continues to increase rapidly. Successful businesses adapt to this trend, creating and tweaking their business strategy accordingly. For a business to ‘bloom’, utilizing the latest technology and trends is the smartest way to reach the highest customer base globally, both directly and by interpersonal ‘word of mouth’.
Economics of Abundance
Despite all the literature about dystopian futures where the swelling population of our beloved planet turns it into a nightmare, it hasn’t turned into a reality. People have been writing about this for decades. But none of those dark futures came to be. Despite the larger population, the world is dramatically less violent, richer in general and better fed. We are much better off by any given standard. But since good news doesn’t sell as well, we don’t hear about this so often.
How does this impact business strategy? It does by destroying the “economics of scarcity”. From natural gas reserves discoveries to vertical farming to automated manufacturing, abundance is defining our world more than scarcity. Bill Gates was asked to be a guest editor for TIME’s January 2018 issue, which he made about “Optimism”, putting a 5 year-old Ethiopian boy on the cover, signifying a much better child mortality rate. You have technology to thank for that, and smart companies will learn the lesson of building their strategies with an optimistic mindset instead of a scared one. The ‘roots’ of that healthy garden make new plants (or technology and customers) grow, keeping the economy and your business growing.
In the final analysis, the most effective business strategies will be the ones that stay on top of the ever-changing world thanks to technology. Revolutionizing business strategy is one of the many things technology does and smart companies will continue to read the evolving landscape.
Fatima Mansoor is a writer at Aepiphanni, a small business operations and strategy consultancy that exists to help small business owners CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses. She specializes in business & entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and health & fitness. Her focus is on creating compelling web content for small and medium businesses form diverse industries. She mostly writes for entrepreneurs and marketing agencies across the US, Australia and UK.
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