But with new trends and product releases happening every day, how do you find solutions that bring value? Does your technology planning boost revenue, or do you spin your wheels trying to make shiny new packages work?
Consider the following ways new technologies are growing businesses today. Then, determine if a new or revised strategic approach is right for you.
Technology Is Improving Efficiency
Review your current technology. Is it right for your organization’s size, challenges, needs and processes? Properly implemented technology boosts operational effectiveness, reducing activity expenses by eliminating redundant employee touch points and freeing your workforce to focus on important tasks.
The key word is “properly.” If you see employees wasting time grappling with technology instead of benefiting from it, talk to them and address problems. Often, your technology – not your employees – creates issues.
Technology Is Increasing Revenue Streams
Any business leader considering adopting new technology should first ask, “Will this help me attract, keep or grow clients?” If the answer is yes, move forward with consideration. If the answer is no, look for a better alternative.
While this won’t apply to all situations, remember that even internal-facing systems should improve your operational efficiency, creating a better customer experience and driving revenue. Customer-centric technology is critical; users expect a frictionless encounter with your product or service.
Ensure your technology is part of the rapidly growing “Internet of Things” (IoT). The IoT describes the growing online interconnectivity between devices and systems. As more products and services go mobile, businesses enter new markets with significant revenue potential. Do you have a mobile app that provides customers useful information and facilitates online purchases? If not, you could be missing opportunities for growth.
For example, the rise of mobile gaming ushered in the “micro-transaction,” wherein gamers pay for content in small increments rather than receive all content up front at a fixed price. This allows developers to continually produce new content and charge users for access, securing huge revenue when compared to the traditional model. Game of War, one popular app, is estimated to make more than $1.1 million per day, largely from micro-transactions.
Finally, make sure your systems are as context-rich as possible. Context-rich software provides detailed analytics and reporting that helps your team operate smarter. Rather than handle all data manually via separate systems and programs, find an integrated solution that touches every area of your business and curates critical information rapidly when necessary.
But It’s Not All Roses
As you acquire and implement technology, plan for potential challenges and threats.
Case in point: hacking. Several high-profile organizations suffered serious data breaches last year, culminating in the protracted and messy Sony Pictures Entertainment hack. Hackers worldwide access credit card information, bank records and even social security numbers every day.
There’s a lesson to be learned here: security and efficacy are equally important. Business owners investing in new technology must invest in system security as well to safeguard against future crises.
The Bottom Line
If you want to get the most out of technology, don’t buy every new offering. Research the trends and understand the latest tech advances. Then, weigh them against your needs and processes, and determine which technology offerings would benefit your organization the most.
Want even more insight on ways technology can grow your business? Read our free e-book, “Top Technology Trends To Spearhead Your 2015 IT Strategy,” to learn about other tech trends moving needles and boosting bottom lines.