Each and every Business is vulnerable when it comes to threats such as low funds and being outcompeted, but there are very few entrepreneurs and business owners who consider becoming irrelevant as technology advances one of these threats. Business environments are ever-evolving and with new technologies always on the horizon and consumer demands increasing, if you want your business to survive, then you need to future-proof it.
In today’s world, change is something which is inevitable. The processes and technologies which are currently working for your business aren’t guaranteed to do so in the future. Because of this, it is absolutely vital that you are always planning ahead when it comes to your business and preempting changes.
There are three main threats that businesses face in the current climate which can and likely will have some form of impact on their day to day runnings.
- AI and machine learning
These technologies are advancing at a rapid pace and in recent years they have shifted in ways which most business owners are unlikely to have predicted and prepared for. Should a competitor leverage it better than your business, then you may quickly find yourself becoming irrelevant, or if you don’t use it at all then your consumers and clients may use all interest.
- Cheaper or simpler alternatives
Businesses can suffer if their competitors are able to offer the same services or products but in a simpler or cheaper way for their consumers. Naturally, customers will gravitate towards the service which costs less or can serve them quicker.
- Disruptive tech tools
Disruption is a huge threat to businesses, but in recent years has become somewhat of a buzzword which is used when it doesn’t need to be. True disruption does exist, however, and can threaten your business. True disruptions offer a different kind of service or experience which reaches a whole new audience or demographic or turns the current industry on its head, much like Netflix did for streaming services.
However, despite these threats, there are some ways in which you can use technology to future-proof your business. The technologies and processes which currently work well for your business won’t always work, so making arrangements for your future-proof plans is only a positive thing.
Using technology to protect your data and information
Whilst the digital age has bought a number of benefits to businesses, it has also increased the number of cyberattacks and cybercrime. No business, no matter how strong you think your defences are, is immune to these attacks, so you need to ensure that your business has the technology in place to help prevent them.
If you don’t make this a priority, then you risk putting your company and employee data at risk of being hacked or leaked. Should this happen, then you are looking at weeks, month or even years for your business to fully recover, so making cybersecurity one of your priorities moving forward will help to protect your business.
The more up to date your business is, the better it will adapt to a change in future circumstances. By making sure your business has a fast internet connection, reliable phone systems and cloud backup and storage, you have the tools necessary to improve productivity and ensure that your business is as efficient as possible. Be sure to frequently review the operations you have in place and the technological needs to fully optimise your business for future success.
Good customer experience
Your customers, at the end of the day, are what keep your business running so it is essential that you do all that you can to provide them with the positive experiences they look for. For bricks and mortar stores, consider offering customer WiFi so that they can browse whilst visiting your store.
For online visitors, ensure that your website has fast load times and good design to make usage easier. If you have an app, then regularly check to see if it is running to the best of its ability or invest in app development to see what you can improve. Customers tend to trust a company more if they have an app, as it makes them seem reputable, so this may be something you want to consider for the future.
In order for technology to future proof your business, you need to make sure that it is part of your comprehensive strategy which ties into your business goals. Don’t just invest in the latest technology because it’s cool’ - be sure that it works for your business and serves a purpose which will help you to achieve your business goals and objectives.
There is no easy way to futureproof your business, but the best way is to stay true to your business and the way you work. By selecting the right technology, whether its to match your business goals or strategy, this will help your business move forward. If you decide to join forces with other tech companies or businesses, be sure to carry out your technical due diligence.
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