Today we’re in an era of technology-driven transformation. That means you can attain higher profits when you use technology to redefine your products, your services, and/or how the industry in general works. Unfortunately, most companies are using technology only one way – to lower costs and become more efficient. They view technology as a way to “do more with less,” “streamline the workflow,” and “trim expenses.” Sound familiar?
While that is certainly one good use of technology, you can also use it to redefine the marketplace as well as your products and services. In this case, technology becomes a tool of creation. You can create new products, new services, and entire new markets, which then creates new jobs and careers. Why is this important? Currently the United States is digging out of the worst recession since the 1930s, and the global economy is suffering its worst setback in decades. The key to recovering is all about jobs and how to create them. You don’t create jobs by increasing productivity; you create jobs by creating new products, services, and markets. So even though we have a statistical recovery, we have a human recession. As such, recovery can’t be jobless.
The bottom line is that we can use technology to eliminate jobs or create them. It’s time for businesses to focus on redefining as a tool for job creation. Look at your product, service, or industry and see how you can use technology to redefine it. The classic example is Amazon.com. When they first started the business, they used technology to redefine how people sell books. But they didn’t stop there. They then expanded to other products and redefined how nearly everything is sold. Then they redefined again. They developed a large IT, logistics, and warehouse system and they now rent out their enterprise IT platform and warehousing space to other companies. So they are not only redefining an industry; they’re also redefining themselves.
When it comes to your company and your industry, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is growing and what is shrinking?
- Where is the direction of the future going based on technology? (For example, getting more energy efficient and going green are both long-term trends. Virtual marketing and social networking also represent long-term trends.)
- Based on where your customers and your industry are going, is there a way to use technology to create new opportunities?