According to a recent commentary piece in The St. Louis Business Journal, cloud-based technologies, mobile platforms, and products that bundle software into one streamlined package are disrupting business in significant ways. In the old business model, which has been in effect for decades, companies invested significant resources into Information Technology in order to drive efficiency and create barriers for entry among their competitors.
Now, with mobile apps, pre-packaged technology infrastructure, and cloud-based services available for minimal investment, those competitive barriers have been broken down. For instance, in the past, if you wanted a store on your website, you had to build it yourself and then pay for a server or data center to maintain it. Now, anyone can set up a pre-designed store feature for a few bucks a month on a pay-as-you-go basis. Of course, there are many other similar examples across hundreds of industries.
In order to differentiate in the current business climate, the author suggests that companies stop using their resources to maintain their legacy systems and, instead, “consume market service offerings for non-differentiating business efficiency” that are available in the cloud and invest in the development of truly differentiating software.
The Benefits of Rethinking Your Technology Investment Plan
Other than keeping up with current trends, does rethinking the way your entire organization functions, consumes, and invests in technology really boost business? The author makes some interesting points about how the business revolution can benefit your company and things to keep in mind as you try to transition from your legacy systems:
Use Resources Wisely to Differentiate Now
Many companies struggle to join in and master the new tech world because of the sunk cost of their legacy systems—but that is a huge mistake. Companies often burn through 70% or more of their IT resources and budget just maintaining their legacy systems and their past business value. What if you could buy affordable bundled solutions that maximize your corporate efficiency instead and use your IT resources elsewhere? By relieving your IT Department from the burden of updating legacy systems, you free them up to create truly differentiating innovation for your company.
Promote Employee Retention
The author makes a critical and interesting point. The business world used to lead the way when it came to new technology, with employees eventually bringing home tools they first encountered in the office. For example, most people had computers at their office or at their educational institution long before they had a PC at home. That is no longer the case, and the consumer market now drives technology trends. In all likelihood, your company’s youngest employees are more tech savvy than the CEO or their more experienced co-workers. They expect to be able to access information instantly and easily and collaborate across multiple-platforms using whatever device that they prefer. Investing in simple, cloud-based solutions and cross-platform collaboration tools will help you keep your bright, connected employees happier and more productive at work.
Lead With Your Software
According to the article, “relevant business technology is all about software now—specifically user-facing software that eases information access and software bundled into the company’s product or service offerings that add innovative, unique function.” The software that you use at your office, or with your customers, is now as essential, and as much a part of your product as the item or service you are selling. In other words, your company not only needs to be easy to do business with, but also easy to work for.
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