No matter where you look today, the impact of the digital revolution is being felt in business. From the boardrooms of the big Fortune 500 companies to the think tanks of the smallest tech company start-ups, the digital world has arrived in business with a bang. When it comes to the impact of technology on our business systems, it really doesn’t matter if you sell a rotary shaft seal or a yoga mat, you need the technology available in today’s internet world to succeed.
But as with everything else, some of these changes are more immediate then others. We see a few trends in the business world that have been coming for a few years and may indeed bear fruit this coming year or so. For those who want to have a handle on the shifts in the business climate ahead of time, here are our predictions of trends to watch for when it comes to business and technology.
Don’t Discount the User Experience
While how our customers feel about our business is important, most company’s have not stopped to give much thought to exactly what they experience as a user of that service or product. That may have been because the experience happened in a variety of locations such as stores and over the phone, but not in a place where we could measure their satisfaction. The internet has changed all of that, and for any company that takes advantage of this it is a big win for them. The rise of Big Data and the development of new types of analysis to look at that data means we can measure and understand almost every aspect of our interaction with our customers.
Improving the customer experience is just one aspect of this new knowledge, but it is an important one. With the advent of the internet, any customer who feels you aren’t paying enough attention to their problem can simply take to the net and make you look stupid or worse. An uncaring company is a failed company in today’s connected world, and for a good reason.
Innovate or Die
The other aspect of business that has changed with the digital revolution is the pace of innovation. We no longer have the luxury of taking time to be sure that that new idea will work before unleashing it on the unsuspecting public. Today it is expected that any innovative new ideas will be tried and tested in real time, out in the cold hard light of day. If they fail, they fail quickly and are replaced with new ideas just as quickly. This requires a nimble executive outlook that is willing to take chances, but just as willing to yank something the moment it is obvious it isn’t working.
The End of Silos
Remember those charts that would show the various silos of responsibility for each department? It all rose up to the CEO, who took ultimate responsibility for the whole show. But those silos are slowly crumbling as company CEOs now have multidimensional roles and responsibilities due to the arrival of digital VPs who connect across silos. In fact, in today’s modern business, the ability to communicate across departments and work synergistically is the most prized ability of all.