Innovation cycles are a constant series of ripples tearing across all industries. Individually, these ripples are easy to miss but together they form a rising tide that transforms your industry before most of us know it is too late.
The ripples are insidious. They start unnoticed around the edges, as free downloads, foreign websites, apps used by teens, high-end tools used by the corporate warriors. Innovation cycles start as a noise that is not crucial to your core business, but it is happening and it’s happening to your business.
- You focus on technology to drive efficiency and cut cost rather than to create value or enter new markets.
- You have apps, mobiles and cloud solutions but nothing seems hooked-up, and your team seems to be focused on the next hip, cool stuff du jour but never adopts one for a long time.
- You are working harder for each additional unit of revenue. You and your teams are struggling to drive growth with existing clients and are fighting hard to keep the clients you already have.
- IT is considered only an internal or outsourced function and is a running company joke. Is IT a joke at transport giant Uber or accommodation booking site Airbnb? No, IT there are rock-stars.
- The average age of your customer is increasing. Next time you’re with a group of your customers, take a look at them; are they approximately the same age? And if you think back ten years ago, were they approximately the same age but ten years younger?
- You make money the same way you’ve always made money. Your revenue model hasn’t changed.
- Data seems to be everywhere but it is siloed with individuals and departments. (Shouldn’t your company information be as readily available as your Auntie’s weekend snaps with her Labrador retriever?)
- You have a high-touch business model.
Hold on, didn’t we all think that technology was to be the great equaliser, a democratic force enabling smaller companies to expand their market reach and win clients normally out of their reach? Why are so many companies being left by the wayside?
Say goodbye to the status quo
You know what you’ve always done, but you may not know what needs to happen next. Efforts to preserve the status quo are merely putting your thumb in the digital disruption levee.
We have to embrace change and make new sense, from the business models we use to the technology solutions on which we design them. Like it or not, all business is now digital; the businesses that will lead tomorrow will be built on platforms that offer digital consumerisation, cloud technology, mobility and data visualisation in real time.
Today a business leader needs to bet on a flexible cloud platform that scales as you grow and offers real-time mobile data, including live newsfeeds and notifications on your most important business metrics. Real-time data and precise KPIs enable you to make faster, better decisions every time (a topic I will discuss in my next post.)
More and more companies are also using cloud technology to automate their repetitive tasks. This gives them increased speed, flexibility, and efficiency and, perhaps most important of all, frees them to focus their creative energy and time on the core offerings that grow their business.