Why Keeping Up With Technology Is Harder Than Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Technology seems to change faster than a teenager’s hormones these days. It seems like computers and tablets are outdated in a year, the must-have new smartphone is released every six months, and social media sites and apps are lucky to be relevant for three months. How should a business deal with the increasing rate of technology obsolescence?
As one of the top web development companies around, we are here to tell you why keeping up with technology is harder than keeping up with the Kardashians and what you should do about it.
The Technology Renaissance
There are good and bad things about the current technological renaissance we are in. One the one hand people are creating some very cool things and accomplishing what was only dreamed about just a few decades ago. The evolution of so many tech areas has been astounding. On the other hand, for a lot of businesses these technological advances cause a disruption in business when you make updates and changes.
It is hard to stay current when technology transforms so quickly.
This affects a business in many areas from marketing and sales to production to general infrastructure. Over the past decade there has been a bit of a roller coaster for a lot of businesses as there have been changes in how we market and sell, how people buy and want to be marketed to, how we produce products, where we produce products, how we deliver products and the general infrastructure we use to complete all of these actions.
Honestly, it gets exhausting trying to keep up with consumer demands while balancing business goals. When is the right time to upgrade? Is what we are looking at just a fad, or is this new trends going to morph into the norm? Even if it becomes the norm, how long will that normal last?
At least with the Kardashians they take a few months off from filming their reality show so you get a break…
Tips for Dealing with the Cycle of Innovation
- Understand your Customers – This is a vital piece of the puzzle as you need to ensure that changes you make are ones that have a positive impact on the people you provide products and services to. There was a small clothing manufacturing that had a niche market. Their primary customers were females between 55 and 80. They recently shifted gears moving away from a mail-order catalog, launching a new website with a lot of online promotions and social media marketing. However the majority of their customers never shopped online and much of that innovation effort, while a good step for the future, had a negative impact on current customers. On the flip side, if this business sold to women age 25 to 30 then those changes would be an absolute must as people in that age group have probably never heard of mail-order. Knowing what your customers want and need to engage in business with you is a must.
- Consider Outcomes and Goals – A fad is nice; they happen all the time. It can be very useful to incorporate them when you can but what will be the outcome of doing so and how does that factor into your business goals? True keys to success from a business standpoint are things like increasing sales, increasing ROI, lowering costs, and increasing brand loyalty and awareness. When looking at making changes because of innovation you have to ask yourself honestly how it will affect your goals.
- Make Measured Changes – When it is decided that you need to, or want to make a change, it should not be a knee-jerk reaction but instead a measured action. It is perfectly reasonable to take some risks with new technology, ideas and innovation, however the smart businesses are the ones that have a plan that includes budgeting time and resources for making that change which includes unexpected interruptions and fallback plans. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
- Educate Yourself – Before making any big change take the time to learn more about the technology or innovation you are looking to incorporate. Discuss with friends, colleagues, peers, and anyone else you know who might have done the same thing to see what they did and how things worked out. Often, information can be your greatest asset when considering when to make changes.
The bottom line is that innovation is here to stay which means constant changes are to be expected in the business world. While it might not be feasible to always be on the cutting edge in every area of your business, you should at least be paying attention to where the edge is in relation to you and your customers in regard to what they want or expect from a business.
Keeping up with technology is harder than keeping up with the Kardashians, but in the long run it is worthwhile to pay attention, be flexible and make changes when needed.
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