Microsoft principal founder Bill Gates once said, “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” That statement certainly made a lot of sense when the famous philanthropist and business magnate utter those words in the 90s. However, today, being on the internet is not enough to ensure the survival of your business.
The business landscape is fast evolving. The dawn of the digital age opened opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to accomplish feats that were previously available only for multimillion-dollar corporations. Technological innovation allows businesses to reach milestones at an unprecedented pace. And each new trend carries with it a massive potential to alter the trajectory and direction of your business moving forward.
Along with the advancements in technology is the emergence of new and dominant consumer markets, particularly the Millennials and Generation Z (Gen Z). The unique lifestyle preferences of this new market pose fresh challenges for businesses and marketers alike.
For instance, one of the distinctive change that is currently happening in the market is the demand for new ways of providing value-added products and services. Producing excellent products and delivering exceptional services are not sufficient anymore to guarantee the success of your organization. Your business – now, more than ever – must be able to provide the right product to the right customer at the right time.
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To respond to today’s challenges in the consumer market, companies are transitioning into more groundbreaking ways of customer-centric approach regarding their businesses. And technology is being leveraged considerably to accomplish this feat. Using the latest innovations, organizations are working hard to improve the customer experience of a market that has a continuously decreasing attention span while having an increasing expectation of companies meeting their needs — on their terms.
But thinking that having a robust Information Technology Department would suffice is a grave mistake that some companies are making. In order to survive and thrive amidst a fast-evolving digital economy, a business must also have these critical components in their arsenal:
1. A DevOps Culture
The term “DevOps” is coined in 2009 by one of its chief proponent Patrick Debois of Belgium. It’s a cropped word from two related terms “development” and “operation” and used to describe the culture, practice and other technology-based disciplines of achieving unity, synergy and beneficial collaboration between software developers and operations personnel.
Basically merging the mission and vision of “development” and “operation,” companies adopting a DevOps culture can experience tremendous benefits such as, shorter development cycles, faster production of their software-based products, lower overall costs of production, and bigger competitive edge over rival companies who are still operating in traditional production models. All these benefits affect the level of customer satisfaction as evidenced by a global study conducted by CA Technologies.
2. Mobile Apps
The increasing dependence of consumers in their smartphones pushed top brands and even small business owners to create mobile apps. It is believed that having a mobile app helps the company to provide more value to its customers, strengthen its brand, build a stronger connection with its patrons, and contribute in increasing its profits. Statistics say that more than 80 percent of business owners acknowledged that having their own and customized mobile apps contribute to increasing their ROIs.
3. Data Security and Privacy
On March 19, 2018, Facebook lost $42 billion in terms of company value due to a more than 7 percent drop in its share price. This decline in the share price was a result of a controversy where one of President Trump’s campaign consultant, Cambridge Analytica, is said to have illegally obtain the data of about 50 million Facebook users without their consent. This incident only shows how consumers today value their data security and privacy.
In fact, in 2017 State of Consumer Privacy and Trust survey, researchers found out that 69 percent of consumers are concerned about security and privacy when it comes to their devices. 68 percent of those who participated in the survey admitted that they don’t trust brands to handle their data and information properly. Thus, a company that will invest in more robust policies to protect the data of their consumers will reap the rewards sooner or later.
4. Big Data Analytics
Massive chunks of data are being created every day – from data generated by common users of social media sites to the data being produced by organizations for their daily transactions. We live in a world where more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day. However, these data are meaningless information only if the company will not employ Big Data Analytics. This is why a lot of organizations today are investing in Big Data and Hadoop training in order to equip their personnel.
The goal of Big Data Analytics is to help the organization to make sense of the data that is being generated through different channels. These data are structured and analyzed to reveal patterns and trends that will be useful in planning different aspects of a company’s operations. One particular interest for marketers is the information that they can obtain when it comes to the behavior of their consumers and the market in general. By analyzing these huge chunks of data, businesses can devise plans that will help them to conceptualize their next-cutting edge product, formulate more effective promotional ads, and provide a more personalized customer experience.
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
In a report published by PwC in 2017 about the global impact and adoption of AI, it was revealed that 72% of top business executives believe that AI will contribute to their company’s competitive advantage in the near future. In the same report, it is said that 63% of consumers believe that AI can help in providing the solution for complex problems in the modern society.
All these statistics point out to the fact that the awareness and anticipation for the benefits of AI are constantly growing. With the ever-changing needs of the consumers and its demand for faster, more convenient and more personalized services, AI is in the forefront of options to explore for business owners.
Adopting and implementing these five critical components of IT in your business is not optional. In today’s economic landscape, it’s already a must. In order to drive growth and provide a more customer-centric approach to your business, you must take advantage of these technological innovations and apply it in your organization as soon as possible.