This article was originally written for and published by CEOWorld Magazine.
The days of technology as an afterthought are gone.
Technology is driving business outcomes like never before. Companies are being forced to think differently – it is not just thinking out of the box, it is rebuilding or redesigning the box to tackle an ever-changing business landscape.
The old days of operating in independent silos are over. Information sharing has become a powerful differentiator not only for software companies, but also for the customers we serve. Leveraging the ease of use that technology provides is how companies can gain a strategic advantage and build success while capturing engaged customers and retaining business.
Technology for technology’s sake is over. Now, more than ever, technology must positively impact business metrics and here are three areas where you can get the most out of your investment.
Speed operational success.
Efficiency. Time. Speed. Three words that can make or break your business.
Many legacy software systems are reaching a tipping point. Technology is no longer considered for the business, but rather driving the business. Companies that are embracing digital transformation are accelerating at an unprecedented speed, forcing competitors to make similar decisions so that they can stay relevant with customers and differentiate themselves. Speed is of the essence in setting a technology business apart from the vast array of competitors all fighting for the attention of the customer.
Speed conveys urgency. Speed conveys importance. Speed conveys strength.
Swift digital transformation is paramount. Businesses need to adapt quickly to survive – and thrive. Those with simplified systems architecture have uncovered the holy grail for successful operations. Specifically, having one system centered around monitoring and tracking your product is invaluable.
Having visibility, insight and collaboration across the entire product value chain enables companies to make decisions faster and smarter. By eliminating siloed technology applications, innovative companies can rapidly streamline both their technological investments and their internal processes to run more efficiently and effectively.
Invest in the cloud or be left behind.
Cloud computing and applications have become ubiquitous as there are now compelling and differentiated solutions supporting every business process in the enterprise.
In fact, a recent Gartner report stated that cloud application services (SaaS) will grow from $167B in 2022 to $195B in 2023..
Across nearly every software sector the market has proved the need for, and importance of, the cloud. The cloud inherently allows customers to stay current which provides security and functionality benefits. And, the cloud makes it easier to deliver innovation in the areas of visibility, business intelligence and collaboration across the company, suppliers and customers.
Now is the time for corporations to put their money and resources in the cloud. Businesses that are not already heavily engaged in and utilizing the cloud to their advantage are already behind. They will significantly miss out. They could see detrimental hits to their business.
Investment in the cloud is paramount to enable the flexibility and speed in which companies need to do business to survive.
Listen to customers and scale your business.
We are in the midst of a customer-first revolution.
A recent Propel study found that the majority of customers will switch brands in order to get the experience they want. The survey found that 54% of all consumers would stop using a brand after one negative experience and 58% have recently made the switch from a brand they love to a competitor.
Consumers expect brands to anticipate their demands and rectify bad experiences quickly. Maintaining customer loyalty is hard, but technology can help. The businesses that use technology to better engage and monitor their customer’s needs are on the fast track to gain and retain more customers than their slower competitors.
Having smart technology in place to capture customer feedback is vital.
Technology can help businesses observe and collect behavioral patterns of their customers. It can help businesses better understand customers, which can then lead to better long-term engagement and therefore, more sales.
Business leaders must look at each customer uniquely to solve individual problems. Having the proper technology in place, that can zero in on a customer’s specific needs, is crucial to success when you are in the service industry.
For instance, a customer could give feedback saying they need shorter lead times or ask a company to make a specific product easier to use. Those comments are vital. Addressing customer feedback, especially negative feedback, will lead to a better customer experience overall. With the proper technology in place to capture that feedback companies can work smarter and stay ahead of competition.
As you embark on a new year it is important to remember that no business is immune to the ever changing market volatility. But your ability to use technology to adapt will aid you in navigating unpredictable turbulence.
Technology can be a great asset in that regard and it is important to put those efforts front and center to ensure your business is keeping up with competition and is on the path to prosperity and great success.
Learn about the insights Ross gained in his transition from Salesforce CIO to Propel Software CEO in an article he wrote for Forbes.