The concept of a “tech sector” is fast becoming outdated. In many ways the idea is already a relic of the past. And at the same time, the idea behind the tech sector is stronger than ever. The notion of technological prowess has been infused into all parts of the economy, cutting across all business sectors. From construction companies to equipment manufacturers to transportation companies, every company can be considered a tech company.
Renowned data journalist Jon Bruner notes that as software goes beyond the boundaries of monitor and keyboard, it becomes a bigger part of every business. This is the basic reason why every company should be considered a tech company. And it isn’t just software. Hardware and software collide to result in enhanced core products and services for companies that wouldn’t strike you as a “tech company.” Technology is being used to add intelligence to things that weren’t intelligent. It’s a way to optimize both physical machines as well as processes.
In most companies, technological capability impacts operational capability. This trend continues to grow, causing companies to have to be more responsive with their technical capability and more technologically savvy internally. Just sticking to “IT outsourcing” won’t cut it anymore. Companies need to develop and maintain technological expertise at their core, even if they outsource a lot of their tech-related operations.
Agile coach and consultant Tirrell Payton writes about how most successful companies have little separation between their technology strategy and business strategy. Technology is ingrained in everything they do. When they develop this competitive advantage internally, it effectively becomes a tech company in an important way. By doing this, the best in business drive speed and innovation, infusing their technology leadership with business leadership.
This cross-pollination of business and technology has also altered customer expectations. In today’s digital-first world, if you’re not at the top of your tech game, however that may apply to your company, it will in some way result in you losing your customers. From developing top-notch products to offering exceptional customer service, it’s hard to imagine a business goal that you can achieve without mastering some relevant technology.
CNBC’s Technology Products Editor, Todd Haselton, talks about how even luxury brands are becoming tech companies. A good example is Hermes teaming up with Apple for Apple Watch.
All in all, every company needs to master technology not just to grow, but to survive. The digital age is driving more companies to be described as a tech company, regardless of what their products/services are. Think about how you are utilizing technology at your company. If you haven’t done this for some time, or at all, sit down with your CTO and discuss how technology can play a bigger role in your business. You might be surprised by some of the things you unearth after that meeting. This “tech mindset” may very well translate into a higher bottom line and a better loved company.
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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