Technology is Reshaping Canadian Business: How to ensure your company keeps pace with IT growth and change

By Rick Dhatt on 26-05-2014

Technology shaping businesses is part of evolution of civil society. Morse code and telephones did it in the previous centuries.  Computer and Information technology continues to drive changes not to just how businesses are conducted but how we lead our lives.

However, the most disruptive technology of this millennium has been the refined technology mobile or smartphone technology. Across sectors, mobile technology continues to drive innovation in pretty much everything and has definitely turned the way business conduct themselves by nearly 360 degrees. Canada is no exception to disruption and constant change that technology introduction and adoption have been driving.

Historic trade winds make way to Technology upgrades

Historically, traders’ global footprints changed the businesses of royal economies and were enigmatically called trade-winds. In the past two millennia, technology-winds drive businesses, with the ripple-effect felt globally and not just local economies. However, for the average business owner or employee, the challenge is in keeping pace with the turnaround of technology adoption. No sooner had the mid-sized business adopted computer IT infrastructure, came the down-sizing in less than a decade as IT infrastructure moves to wireless and cloud-based computing.

Timing the Technology Change

Therefore, the timing of the technology change a business has to adopt to remain invested profitably becomes the inflexion point.

  1. Traditional businesses can no longer survive without adopting digital-profiling curve or business processes.
  2. Today, owning a website will not suffice for a small business or an enterprise.
  3. Driving viewer engagement to the website/web store is the key.
  4. Social media networks too are fast becoming the clinch-points for businesses to go the new way of delivery services: personalized services.

Technology drives businesses towards personalized services

A pamphlet or a flyer, showcasing a sale or a promotion at the local store, is now replaced by QR-code campaign, mobile marketing, social media campaigns and other digitized formats. As the mobile becomes the more common method of delivery of content, promotion and information about product or services a company or a small business provides, there is higher volatility in some of the range of services.

  1. Customer services are no longer limited to being a good, well-manufactured or well-delivered service.
  2. Services and products will now have to cater to the ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ on Facebook and SnapChat. Where the ‘social element’ of service or company becomes slow or archaic, the limited is the customer growth.
  3. Internet and online communications has also driven global reach. Therefore, for every local competitor, there is also a global competitor which small scale and large-sized business have to develop strategies to accommodate.

Soliciting customers has changed the face of several businesses

Mobile email open rates on the mobile is currently at 37% in Canada, second only to US 38%, with UK making up the third highest email access scenarios. Therefore, small companies have those much higher chances of engaging the end consumer by offering Personalized Services. So, how do business understand, evaluate, rate and adopt a technology which is right for them?

Research reports indicate role of technology

Traditionally, researchers pursue various parameters which influence economic changes. Where capital, labor forces , resource availability are just a few of the parameters evaluated to arrive at economic influences, in recent times technology adoption too has become a critical factor in the growth of business practices. Transformative technologies have, according to reports by UN studies never been Canadian businesses strengths, in comparison to neighbors.

The apparent reason for the failure in Canada is the slow approach to technology innovation and sustained adoption. Studies indicate that where innovation has succeeded it has not been sustained as a pan-country or regional technology transformation, for, as a country, there is a decided lack of technology research and development. Innovation is the ‘genius child’ of research and development. As long as research and development fails to make headway for local realities, the move to innovation is a far cry.

Imported technologies begin to dominate, leading to long-term dependency of the original product or service and minimal technology innovation locally.

Digital marketers recognize 4 parameters

  1. Demand is found to have increased for products and services which are intuitive and free.
  2. Digital commerce is here to stay and therefore adopting technology which delivers such services will become increasingly important.
  3. These can include moving to mobile payment technologies, or Point of Sales which is mobile, by the use of tablets or smartphones in such customer-facing levels.
  4. The digital interactivity between business and clients and consumers becomes the inflexion point.
  5. All things again point to personalized, customized services and user engagement.

EXPERT SPEAK: Technologies are transforming more than businesses

Businesses in Canada or globally the need is to adopt business models which lend themselves to agile platforms. Business models too become should become innovative as there is more data available, in real-time!

Secondly, customers or clients expect and demand services which are more instantaneous and transparent. Responsiveness and the rapid pace at which it is delivered is the key. It actually becomes a measure of the core competency of an organization.

Third, connectivity is one of the greatest levelers in businesses. Connectivity and real-time data availability and access, mean higher traction in business processes.

Fourth, remote work processes using cloud services mean lesser overheads of IT infrastructure and support. This will also allow businesses to engage directly in their core business competency, rather than spend time and resources in non-competency departments.

The above points are just the tip of the technology-iceberg which businesses will have to explore and adopt so as not to become archaic and lose out to the competition. Technology harnessing is key to driving business success. It can be achieved only if the focus of the company remains on adopting technology for end-user benefit along with in-house competency, profit and efficiency improvement, which could also bring in profits!






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