From the MD – The Future of Business

future of business

Is your business ready for tomorrow’s technology?

Are you aware of the changes that might shape your business in the coming years, and do you have the strategy to adapt? Or do you believe your business is bulletproof and you’ll stand the test of time? Or maybe you’re simply unsure about what might happen next or more importantly what to prepare for.

In truth, none of us know for certain what tomorrow brings or what the future of business means. We know change is happening rapidly, but with many driving factors, it’s difficult to know where to start. However, the one thing we are certain of is that the evolution of technology is a key driver of change.

The technology industry in the UK has surpassed many traditional industries, positioning the UK as a leader in Europe. The digital economy is growing at twice the rate of the wider economy, contributing £97bn a year, up 30% in five years.

In addition to its growth, the boundaries between the technology industry and other industries are blurring. Today technology innovation continues to push the boundaries that have traditionally shaped businesses. And it continues to evolve how businesses operate, from a functional level all the way to employee engagement.

Think of some of the most famous organisations; Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb. They don’t solely operate in the transport, delivery or letting industries, they are classed as technology companies.

In order to remain at the forefront of your sector you need to embrace digital, from digitising customer relationships, supply chains and revenue models. To compete with the new breed of technology companies, and to succeed in tomorrow’s world, you must be prepared to transform your business.

In order to prepare your business and approach digital transformation strategically, there are a few key questions you need to ask yourself…

  1. Are you still meeting your customer’s needs? As consumers evolve into something new, more connected and more demanding, it’s important to keep them engaged. New technology means their wants and needs are often changing, which will impact how you communicate with them, and potentially change the product or service you are offering.
  2. Have you challenged the inefficiencies in your business? Are there areas within your business that impact the final customer experience? Take a look at your processes and workflows, and analyse the speed/efficiency of them. Integrating new or updating existing systems may improve speed, reduce errors and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.
  3. Who are your non-traditional competitors? Your competitor’s tomorrow will be different to those of today and different again to those of yesterday. You need to look outside your industry and understand how they currently impact your business and how it might change in the future. Think about what product or service could be different, easier or cheaper and still deliver the same value to your customers.
  4. Is your organisation agile enough to adapt to rapid change? This includes both your operating model and your company culture. You need an operating model that is flexible enough to adopt new technology and new systems quickly. Data movement is key for future technologies so it’s important to have data systems set up.

We will continue to see many advancements over coming months and throughout 2018, but whatever happens, you must be prepared to adapt. It’s important to be aware of the changes happening so you don’t get left behind.

Prepare your business by asking yourself the key questions above and defining the benefits and opportunities different technology will bring to you. Understand that you need to adopt technology that is beneficial to you and your customers. Whatever technology you adopt in the future; you need to ensure you have an IT structure that supports data movement, that your workforce are on board and that you keep close to your customers. Integrating technology such as apps, connected devices and AI is a complex task but will bring you and your business numerous opportunities for growth.