The business world is too rich with options for any stagnant company to survive for very long. Even if you merely want to avoid going downhill, you need to keep up with changing standards and demands — and if you’re determined to thrive, then you need to innovate. Getting ahead of your competitors is your best option for outperforming them.
This is much easier said than done, naturally. True game-changers don’t come along very frequently — so innovation is not a walk in the park. The answer is, however, technology. It’s not about developing new technologies, but making good use of the existing options and adopting the latest developments more rapidly and effectively than your rivals.
In this piece, I’m going to set out the main reasons why technology should form the foundation of your business innovation strategy for 2020. Let’s get started:
It can hugely boost efficiency
Business innovation isn’t always about being original, or even new in general. It’s often about what’s new for you. Consider that every business brings something distinct to the table: a unique combination of traits, infrastructure elements, operational procedures, and ambitions. If you’re already top-class in some areas, then finding iterative advancements (that are individually nothing special) can make you innovative overall.
A huge part of this is implementing automation where possible and using all available tools and resources to make your work as straightforward as possible. Think about everything that goes into your daily routine. Software development? Outsource it. Social media marketing? Apps aplenty. Managing human resources? Easy. Almost anything you do on a daily basis can be rendered more efficient through technology. Not only does this make your process stronger overall, but it also frees up more time for general ideation that may help you come up with one of those rare game-changing ideas.
It takes real effort to master
Innovating is usually more about effort than creativity, and you can commonly count on businesses — even those with major budgets — to shy away from hard work. This is what makes the technology world so valuable for standing out. Consider how many professionals (even today) have limited understanding of tech basics, and then try to imagine them making good use of machine learning. It’s extremely unlikely.
Now, it will obviously help if you’re fairly comfortable with new technology, but it isn’t essential provided you’re willing to put in the work to learn. While your competitors are sticking to what’s familiar, you can be developing your knowledge, expanding your skills, and taking advantage to overhaul your business with cutting-edge technological improvements.
It has near-unlimited potential
This is the most important thing about technology when it comes to innovation: the possibilities are close to boundless, and they stack up rapidly when you bring elements together. Think about a piece of connective technology such as a chatbot: you can take the basic functionality and apply it in so many different scenarios, with minor tweaks having major effects.
The level of sophistication that a tech-enhanced business can achieve today (even one on a fairly low budget) is quite remarkable, and the standard is only going to rise as we move into a fresh year. As you grow your knowledge and start to follow the tech world more closely, you’ll find yourself in a much better position to benefit from its growth.
Whether you’re bringing in new technological tools and methods, making better use of their mainstream counterparts, or simply freeing up time to spend on ideation, tech is incredibly valuable for bolstering business innovation. Don’t be left behind by your competitors — make it a matter of priority.
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