Mixing business and new technology

It’s absolutely no secret that new technology permeates every aspect of our lives today. We all struggle (including the techies) to keep up with the innovations. A constant headache of trying to understand the latest techno invention, the latest digital marketing trends and the most recent data or automation business tool; All designed to make our business lives faster, better and more profitable. It’s stressful!

One of the reasons that there are an ever-increasing number of new technology leaps is because of technology itself. Before technology was so widely available many of us were stuck doing manual and repetitive tasks. We carried out laborious tasks and administration. We used reams of paper that had to be sorted, filed, duplicated and stored. It could then take days to find the information you needed to continue your work. A lot of us didn’t have the time to think about being innovative and inventive. We all worked very hard. It was stressful!

Technology has definitely changed the way we work. Regardless of your industry, we all work in a technology company. New business technology is everywhere and makes up a huge portion of our infrastructure. We cannot get away from it. It has freed us up to be more creative, more customer focused, allowed us to reach larger territories and to learn quickly from many sources across the world. It has given many of us a new opportunity to produce innovations of our own. Simply, it gave us time. Time to think, time to problem solve and time to create. This opportunity is open to us all and with the volume of innovations out there it is most definitely something we have all embraced. We now have 16 year olds at the head of companies and we have small businesses able to compete with the corporate giants and win. It is a more convenient world, everything is delivered at a time and place that suits us individually. The advantages go on and on and we use them without thinking in every aspect of our lives.

So, if it is easy, why do we still struggle so much to stay on top of technology?

There are a few reasons we can think of. One, the volume of tools coming out has a part to play. It is difficult to know which of newest technology tools will really work for you. Second, technology descriptions can also be a puzzle. It’s a struggle to understand guides and FAQ’s filled with jargon and new words that require a qualification to understand. Third, compatibility and integration with existing systems can also be very frustrating. Not all technology is a simple plug and play.

All that said, we feel the biggest one is data. There is now a lot of time taken up with the analysis of large quantities of data. Volumes that we have never seen before. Sifting through this can be laborious, complicated and confusing. Detailed customer data is one thing; however, data can also be very distracting. We now have the constant barrage of text messages, emails, in house collaboration tools, news feeds etc. The communication we were once lacking is now a constant time stealer. It’s a lot to take in and hard to filter out.

So, what can we do to stop ourselves getting tossed around in this stormy sea?

One, is to learn from the people that are a little ahead of you. The reality is that even though there are thousands of new tech tools available most of them are designed to do tasks that we are very familiar with. It is important to listen to and watch your larger competitors and peers and look at the tools they are using. Companies that have more staff typically have people whose sole purpose is to understand technology and find and integrate the tools that will move their business forward. By understanding what they are doing you can quickly understand what you need to emulate.
Second, take time to understand the terminology. Technology is a language and one that everyone needs a good command of. A few minutes a day coming to grips with things like cyber security, digital marketing and big data, GDPR etc. will go a long way to you being able to understand the nuts and bolts of the technology you are buying and using.
Three, understand where you want your business to go and have a plan to get there. Then, look at what is available to make your journey easier. What can you automate? What data is important? What are the communication tools you most need?  Remember you don’t have to implement everything now. One tool at a time will work. Learn, integrate, use and then build upon that. A little bit can go a long way. As long as your technology knowledge is building so will your business.

Are you interested in learning what technology tools and techniques that have made the UK’s most successful businesses?
Come along to our Next In tech Conference on October 5th. This event is for anyone in the business community that wants to accelerate their business’s success and who does not want to be left behind. It is for anyone who is interested in learning how to use technology to empower their people and get better results while competing in today’s marketplace. Join the conversation and hear about the latest innovations in tech and how you can take advantage of technology to move your business forward. Find our more at www.nextintech.co.uk