The numbers and our experiences do not lie. We have reached a monumental tipping point for technology utilization within businesses. No one is exempt. Restaurants, retailers, manufacturers, and consultants, all have had to reshape their approach to technology overnight. COVID is the biggest catalyst for technological change in our lifetime and will continue to have a huge impact on organizations digital strategies for years to come.
The value of updating legacy technology has never been more clear.
According to McKinsey, organizations that suffered the biggest revenue hits were behind in their use of digital technologies compared to their peers – 40% of organizations reporting a significant revenue hit identified as behind or significantly behind in technology adoption. While COVID has kicked technology adoption into another gear, there’s no indication that it’s going to slow down in the years to come. We’ve all been forced to reevaluate our attitude towards tech adoption and now that organizations have been able to reinvent their processes seemingly overnight, there’s no reason the results of these huge undertakings won’t carry over to future projects. Now that we’re here, there’s no going back.
Take your tech from “cost savings” to “competitive advantage.”
In 2017, organizations reported that half of their technology strategy was dedicated to cost savings. In 2020, this number was down to 10%. One of the most underutilized components of technology in businesses is the ability to double down on your competitive advantage. 40% of resources are now being dedicated towards keeping up with competitors and investing in tech to secure a competitive edge. Well configured, custom technology allows you to streamline processes and introduce new efficiencies to the activities that generate revenue for your business.
Communication and collaboration are key.
Now that many of our interactions have gone digital we’re all re-learning what it means to communicate. Platforms like Zoom, Teams, and Google Workspace are now ubiquitous. These tools popularity have skyrocketed since March. Many organizations had been building this infrastructure for years as remote work gained popularity, so it seemed like it would be as easy as simply flipping the switch.
Now that many of our interactions have gone digital we’re all re-learning what it means to communicate. Platforms like Zoom, Teams, and GSuite are now ubiquitous. These tools popularity have skyrocketed since March. Many organizations had been building this infrastructure for years as remote work gained popularity, so it seemed like it would be as easy as simply flipping the switch.
Fast-tracking technology implementation isn’t just a good idea, it’s critical to long term success.
Operations are being totally redesigned – we’ve already touched on virtual meetings and the future of collaboration but it certainly doesn’t end there. Businesses with in-person operations are fast-tracking automation and overall tech adoption to reduce the number of required employees on-site and the risk of transmission. These changes don’t just allow organizations to minimize losses, they future proof their processes and increase overall productivity, helping to secure a competitive advantage. There are plenty of fears about the impact of automation on potential jobs, but in reality new jobs are created, so an organization’s primary concern needs to be upskilling and reskilling to transition existing employees into new ones so their years of experience and expertise continue to be utilized.
The future is uncertain – the value of your technology is not.
Tech has always been a means to secure your competitive advantage. Doubling down on tech allows you to pass on more value to your customers and firmly establish your niche by reproducing your most important processes at scale. But just because it’s the right idea, doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. The future of work is already here - Industry 4.0 technology is being implemented faster than ever and that means safer workplaces and increased productivity. It also means that countless workers will need access to opportunities to learn new skills to capitalize on the thousands of new positions created by this technology. Creating plans and establishing feedback mechanisms is critical to ensure your employees stay healthy and engaged. COVID has forced organizations across all industries to rethink the way they work and adapt quicker than ever. The more organizations realize the potential value of their technology, the more processes will come under the microscope and be the next target for transformation.
About the Author: Cameron Avrigean
Cameron Avrigean is a Marketing Coordinator at fivestar*. Cameron is an analytics fanatic with a penchant for copywriting and social media. He works with the marketing team to create engaging content, and is looking for the next big thing. Cameron holds a B.S. in Business Management from Point Park University.