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Thursday
Feb162012

Rethinking Your Business (Part 1)

Why you need to rethink the role of technology in your business

Think back to when you first started your company or started working in your industry.  You wanted to make a difference by offering your customers a unique experience; one they couldn’t get anywhere else.  You chose tools and technologies to help create and deliver your offering.  As you talked with customers and prospects, you pointed out the benefits of working with your company and how you were different from the competition.

Over the years you have fine-tuned your offering in response to customer feedback and new offers from your competition.  Perhaps you’ve even added a few new tools and technologies to the mix.

So why do you need to rethink the role of technology in your business now?

For starters, the business landscape has changed and continues to evolve.  Here are some key drivers that are impacting your business:

  • Your current customers’ expectations have changed.  What was new and exciting 10 years ago is tried, true, and boring today.
  • A new generation of potential customers has emerged.  These “digital natives” are daily consumers of technology and look for companies that use and embrace new technology as they do.
  • New competitors have sprung up.  They have taken advantage of new tools and technologies to develop new offerings in order to compete with you and lure away your customers.

What’s more, the list of commonly used technologies has grown as well.  Here’s a short list of technologies that can dramatically change how you interact with your customers:

  • Web applications
  • Mobile applications
  • Voice, e-mail, and SMS notifications
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Cloud computing
  • Social media channels

Rethinking your use of technology involves more than fine tuning and incremental additions.  The goal is to step back and ask yourself:  If I were starting my business today, how would I use technology to offer a better product/service to my customers?

The real value of new technology is rethinking how it impacts your business and improves your interactions with your customers.  Appropriately used, new technologies provide your customers more visibility and greater access to your services, while improving the way they do business with you.

In Part 2, we’ll take a look at how to rethink your business to stay relevant in the eyes of your customers and set yourself apart from old and new competitors alike.