Technology changes almost overnight, and this also holds true for new technology for business as well. Things evolve at such a quick pace that even the most tech-savvy individuals can be overwhelmed at times. New hires who are freshly out of college tend to be more comfortable and adept at utilizing new technology, but executives of all ages should be open to adopting new technology in business.
The stakes of adapting to digital technology have never been higher than they are today. When considering implementing new digital technology, executives need to answer these questions:1
- How can this save me money?
- How can this make me money?
- How can this give me a competitive advantage?
So with this in mind, let’s delve into trends executives and business professionals should follow and steps they should take in order to fully embrace new technology in business.
Staying Abreast of Macro Technology Trends
Before an executive begins considering investing in new technology, they need to have their teams run business process models. Without these models, they’re more likely to invest in business technologies that are in search of problems instead of investing in technology to solve problems. No company can survive or thrive without a robust understanding of digital technology. Nearly everything we use in our day-to-day lives is connected to the internet: wearable technology, smart refrigerators, smart phones, even our thermostats have an app. New technology for business is changing the way companies develop products, interact with and serve consumers, and deploy technology. Executives who ignore or are ignorant about analytics, social media trends, cloud based services and computing, and real-time mobility among many other emerging technology trends, are at a real competitive risk.1
As part of an executive’s consideration, they need the ability to combine digital technology—combining technology opportunities can put companies leaps and bounds beyond the competition. According to Forbes, Uber does a great job of this. They “combine location awareness, real-time analytics, cashless payment, and customer relationship management all in one platform.”1
Trends to Watch
Emerging technologies impact revenue and future profitability. For example, the ability to process payments with a smartphone in the middle of a farmer’s market changes the game for many small business owners. Business professionals need to understand that the pace at which digital technology evolves has greatly accelerated, and their ability to compete is directly correlated to their ability to utilize digital technology in general as well as specific individual business technologies. So, which trends should executives track?2
- Cloud product offerings: The innovation in this technology has been outstanding as providers compete with each other to corner the market. The ability to stream in fractions of a second has been a significant advancement; customers have also benefited as they gain a more widely available and cost effective product
- Artificial intelligence/machine learning: Advancements in AI are coming swiftly as capabilities in deep learning algorithms and standard machine learning extend beyond what was previously thought possible. For example, generative adversarial networks (GANs), which are a type of deep learning neural network, will allow AI to challenge itself to discover the best algorithm models instantly.
- Blockchain: Multiple blockchain technologies are now coming out, with the emergence of different types of tokens, as one of them. In the future, blockchain will probably be utilized to manage new types of financial and non-financial assets
- Cryptographic technology: These are now ensuring data integrity. The recent trend is to leverage cryptographic libraries, blockchain, public key infrastructure, and knowledge proofs to insure integrity starting with the first person who entered the data and all the way through the data’s transfers and transformations
- Open source model: This model allows a wide range of companies to problem solve and troubleshoot technology issues as a community. Open source makes it easier for consumers to access data and gain insights in real-time
What Should Executives Do?
Remember that advancements in digital technology are moving at a breakneck pace. When it comes to implementing new technology for business, an executive needs to be both willing to take risks and be comfortable with the knowledge that it may backfire.
To this end, executives should ensure the risks they take are informed. In order to do so, they can start by following these steps:
- Ask for briefings on the array of business technologies impacting their industry, company, and competition.
- Run business process models of the technologies.
- Identify and don’t be afraid to launch technologies pilots created to impact specific business needs.
- Keep tabs on emerging business technologies and plan to fill any gaps that may occur.
In the office, executives should:
- Encourage group sharing.
- Ask employees to give demonstrations on different technology platforms.
- Give plenty of opportunities and create forums for sharing ideas, discoveries, and suggestions. Remember that great leaders surround themselves with those who are smarter than themselves, employees’ ideas may be a great starting point for implementation of the next technological advancement.
Digital transformation is happening worldwide, and companies and executives must be equipped with the tools and knowledge to compete in the global digital economy. Consider how an Online MBA from California State University, Monterey Bay, with its focus on responsible business, can teach you to learn to think digitally and lead conversations about new technology in business that extend beyond profit and seek to benefit communities and the planet at large as well.
1. Retrieved on September 6, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/steveandriole/2019/04/01/the-executives-guide-to-emerging-business-technologies/
2. Retrieved on September 6, 2019, from cnbc.com/advertorial/tech-trends-2019-the-technology-trends-that-are-driving-the-world-of-markets-forward/