By Richard Pilton, managing director at Kayo
Disruptive technology is increasingly being harnessed to turn traditional business models on their heads and bring ideas to market almost instantaneously.
The sheer pace at which things are moving, not just in terms of customer demands and technological advancements, but the speed at which businesses are expected to react to, adopt and embrace these changes means many have been left with heads reeling as they struggle to keep up.
However, those ambitious businesses that can effectively harness the right technology will be the ones to gain competitive advantage and grow. In fact, figures from industry analysts IDC show a huge correlation between the use of digital technology and business growth figures.
To capitalise on disruptive technology, though, businesses need to be able to identify and harness the right technology for their – and their customers’ – unique needs. Anticipating how customers want to consume products and services is key here, as well as having a solid understanding of how existing and emerging technology is influencing customer behaviour.
The following tips can help you take advantage of new digital opportunities:
Don’t run before you can walk
Businesses need to ensure they have the basic building blocks in place in order to get real benefit from any technology. Have messaging in place, build your digital profile, develop a roadmap, know your objectives, test and learn.
Find the right fit
Don’t choose a piece of software just because a peer or friend has recommended it. It may work for their business but that doesn’t mean it is right for yours. Equally, don’t bend your business to suit off-the-shelf technology; instead find a partner who can shape technology to meet your needs.
This is especially true for growing businesses, as there will come a tipping point where expansion, especially when it comes to appointing new employees, can often dilute processes. It is important to consider technology in any growth plans for example looking at what can be automated as you grow.
Understand your needs
With such a lot of emerging technology out there, it can be hard for businesses to know what is right for them. In addition, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that some shiny new technology will solve all an organisation’s issues.
Before embarking on any digital technology or web design project, the following key questions should be asked:
- Do you understand your own business?
How well do you understand your processes, operating procedures, current technology and skillsets? Do you have a clear vision of how any new digital technology will impact all these areas?
- Do you understand your customers?
Who are your customers? How do they interact with you? How often? What would encourage them to purchase more from you? What is the user journey like and how could it be improved?
- What are you trying to achieve?
What does success look like? How will digital technology help you to achieve this? Do you have objectives mapped out? How will you measure the success of any technology you implement?
Once these questions have been answered, businesses can look at the right kind of digital technology for them.
Depending on the organisation and its unique needs, this can range from a sales generating website, a new ecommerce platform, a mobile app, or a piece of bespoke software.
Identifying, implementing and optimising the right digital technology for your business can seem like a daunting task. However, with the right approach and expertise, it can really help small businesses to accelerate growth.