It’s no secret. Technology has taken over pretty much every single aspect of our lives. We are constantly glued to our screens. Shopping, playing games, and the timesinks that are social media fill our day from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed for the night.
Introduction Every second of every day we are using technology to make our lives easier and faster. You can pick up your phone, use an app, and have a meal delivered to your doorstep in less time than it would take you to make something yourself. We use technology like this daily for our personal lives, but what if we had the same attitude towards business and technology? Sure, we can use technology to do these things and make our lives more comfortable, but the real power of modern technology is its applications in the business sector . Modern businesses are able to take advantage of technology and turn that into their competitive advantage. More on that in a moment. The important thing to realize is that no matter what business you are in, having a digital strategy is important to your business’s growth and survival. In this article, I want to show you the importance of using technology in your business processes and even give you some ideas about how to start optimizing and bringing efficiency to your business with technology. The Future of Business – Examples The 2011 movie Moneyball shows how using technology correctly can completely revolutionize business even in an unlikely industry like baseball. Leather gloves and wooden bats used to be the most useful tools for a winning baseball team, but not anymore. Let me explain. If you’re not familiar with the movie, let me give you the shortened version. The movie is centered around Brad Pitt’s character, the general manager of the Oakland A’s. The team has a limited budget and can’t afford to hire the best players for their team. Instead of using the old method of using scouts and their intuition to find players, Pitt’s character and assistant develop a statistical modeling program in order to get the best players for their limited budget. By the end of the film, they end up winning the World Series. So, what does a film about baseball have to do with your business and technology? Businesses are always looking to become more competitive – it’s the nature of the free market. That means, your competitors are always spending time and resources figuring out how they can develop the next “killer app” or Technology that will make your business obsolete. This isn’t hypothetical. Some of history’s most successful businesses failed to adapt their business models to new technology and are no longer the giants they used to be. In 1976, the Kodak camera company owned 85% of the camera market and 90% of the film market. As the Millennium approached, digital cameras were becoming more popular. Although Kodak did produce digital cameras, they underestimated just how important digital cameras were becoming. Even though Kodak did adapt to the new technology, the company didn’t adapt to it correctly and paid a huge price for it. The company declared bankruptcy in 2005. A more recent example is Myspace. Before Facebook became central in our lives, Myspace was the social network du jour. Facebook’s exclusive marketing strategy indeed did play a part in its success, but the foundational technology behind the social media platform helped it push Myspace aside to become the fourth most visited website in the world only behind Google, YouTube, and Gmail. The rapid development of new technologies didn’t bode well for Kodak and Myspace, but that doesn’t mean technology has to be seen as something scary. Instead, businesses that do decide to embrace new technologies can see explosive growth. In the future, every company is a technology company. Technology isn’t just a requirement for modern companies to gain competitive advantages. In the very short future, taking advantage of new technologies and incorporating them into a company’s business processes will be a prerequisite for having any sort of successful company. Big tech will no longer be confined to The Bay Area, rather, every company is quickly going to become a “tech company.” In fact, this is happening right now. Businesses that never would have been considered a “tech company” have integrated technology into their business models in order to completely change the way they do business. Domino’s, the pizza chain, is a shining example of a non-tech company that became a tech company “under the hood.” Domino’s is currently the biggest pizza chain in the world. Why? Everyone has their own taste preferences, but I don’t think Domino’s is winning any awards for the best-tasting pizza pie. But Domino’s does have one thing that no other competitor can match: convenience . You can order a Domino’s pizza on Twitter, Facebook Messenger, on a web browser, through Alexa, and a handful of other channels. By leveraging technology and using all of these channels, Domino’s doesn’t have to have the best product, they only have to be in front of the customer and be easy to use. For any business owner, this should be a huge revelation – an easy customer experience created by having a technology-integrated business model can outperform a better product. That means finding a way to integrate technology into your business model can be the only thing you need to do in order to be a market leader. It also means that if you’re not keeping up with the newest technology in your industry, your competitors easily overtake you. “So, what can we do as . And what’s best for business? I am glad you asked. business leaders for digital transformation?” How can technology fit into your business processes? When we usually think about incorporating technology into a business model, we think of “speed,” “efficiency,” and “cost reduction.” There are many buzzwords that are thrown around like “the cloud,” “AI,” “analytics,” and “big data,” but what does that look like in actual, real-life, business models? Technology can be used in all parts of your business, from automating business processes, accounting reports, marketing analytics, sales automation, operations, etc… Here are some ways BitCot has helped businesses fit technology into their business models. Changing sports education Education has always been a sector that has taken advantage of technology, but we took the idea one step further with Stomp Sessions. This software we developed brought the student-teacher experience to the 21 st century. Stomp Sessions not only helped prospective students and teachers find and connect with each other, but Stomp Sessions also helped learners learn faster and better by tracking student progress using Skill Matrix. This, in combination with the ability to record photos and videos, helped students turn each lesson into a valuable resource they could return to and further improve. Read the full Stomp Sessions case study to find out exactly how we had done it – Learn More Adding safety to adventure Who doesn’t love the feel of exploration and adrenaline? But sometimes there are accidents and other unforeseen events. That’s why BitCot developed Golog, an adventure logging application that notifies contacts in the case of an accident. We created this app in order to add ease of mind to adventurers and their loved ones – all while keeping personal information confidential. – Read the full Golog case study to find out exactly how we had done it Learn More Financing the future Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business. Without liquidity, you won’t have a business for long. That’s why it’s important that business owners have access to capital when they need it. In order to help business owners, we created an online lending platform that streamlined mundane processes and focused on the most important parts of the business – getting money to business owners who need it. Read the full Digital Lending Platform case study to find out exactly how we had done it – Learn More Connect the customer journey & think holistically At the end of the day, the technology that you integrate into your business processes can fall into these categories: Technology to improve the digital sales experience Technology to improve the digital service experience Technology to improve the digital operational experience Technology to improve the digital customer service experience What does this look like in a real business? These are just some of the ways you can integrate technology into your business processes. Custom software for automating marketing We all know how important marketing is, but for some businesses, it can be a constant struggle to keep up with all the needed marketing activities. And companies that are able to keep up with these activities can quickly become market leaders. That’s where marketing automation comes in. Custom software for your business can collect leads, promote your brand, and build client relationships – all on autopilot and with multiple touchpoints. Faster sales proposals and process Salespeople know that sales are often a numbers game. In order to catch more fish, you need to throw out more hooks. But sometimes putting together proposals and similar documents can become a bottleneck for sales teams. Proposal software can streamline the whole process and keep sales teams from having to complete complicated proposals and instead spend their time doing what they’re good at – selling. One of the most powerful things you can do with the technology in your business is taking all of the moving pieces and connect them together. You probably find yourself often jumping between various apps doing the same things over and over. With third-party integrations, you can make all of these technologies talk to each other, making your life and business processes much easier. Building an RPA process that brings efficiency in various areas of reporting RPA, or robotic process automation, can be used to make reporting fast and efficient. RPA can not only free up valuable human capital, but RPA processes aren’t prone to human errors. The custom advantage Integrating the software into your business is a must in the current business climate. If you aren’t already using technology in order to streamline processes and automate tasks, then you are leaving money on the table and it’s only a matter of time until your competitor comes along and takes advantage of the opportunity. There are many off-the-shelf technologies that you can integrate into your business model, but there are two major problems with a majority of these: they aren’t always a perfect fit and your competitors have access to the same technologies. Every business is unique. You know the needs of your business more than anyone else. Do you think some already-written software is going to be a perfect fit for your business? Hardly. Although you can use off-the-shelf solutions for many tasks, you may have to end up wrestling with the technology in order to fit your specific business situation. You’ll find yourself in a “square peg in a round hole” situation. And things only become more complicated as you add more and more third-party software into your business. If not done correctly, you end up with a business process that is jam-packed with various technologies, waiting to break at any moment. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to build my business, and my income, on such shaky ground. The other issue with off-the-shelf technology is that your competitors also have access to it. If you want technology to be a major part of your competitive advantage, it’s not possible to do it with technology your competitor can easily replicate. How to future-proof your business The future is now and the best way to future-proof your business is by looking at what the future will soon look like. It’s no mystery – the future is technology. But what can you do right now? If you had a magic wand and could fix the biggest issue with your business, what would that look like? Do you have processes that could be automated? Can you provide a better customer experience? Can you reduce costs? Here is something that we suggest many of our clients do. Write down the three biggest problems with your business. Can any of these problems be fixed with technology? If you have a business problem, we can help you come up with a solution. Contact us for a free consultation.
Let us know how you use this in your own apps. Read our
blog and be sure to keep in touch on Twitter and Facebook for updates, including announcements when we release additional educational resources.