We get bombarded with false promises and claims every day. We receive SMSes about 0% interest loans and tons of spam mail about our Irish lottery winnings worth millions of pounds.
It is no wonder people automatically switch off when they hear about the ‘next big thing that will change your life’. We see from experience that there are no shortcuts and if it is too good to be true, it probably is.
There is no magic, it’s probably just another scam. Unfortunately, our own cynicism and wilful avoidance sometimes cause us to miss out on something that can really make a difference, something that could be a potential game-changer.
Keeping astride with technology
Regardless of our attitude towards it, technology will continue to progress. We can fight change as much as we can push back the sea with our bare hands. So, it’s clear that we should be ready to adapt ourselves and our businesses to the changing environment. However, this isn’t always the case.
One example is Blockbusters which was unwilling to acknowledge that a simple change in a business model can make or break an industry within a couple of years. Trends sometimes take a while to catch on, but once they really start taking hold, the laggards are often left so far behind that they have to cut their losses and close down shop forever.
One of these long overdue trends is mobility in the workforce. Almost everyone has a phone and, in fact, there are currently more mobile devices in South Africa than people. Strangely though, businesses continue to keep manual records. They still send out their sales forces armed with clipboards and a pen.
Meanwhile, mobile phones have replaced the need to write out personal notes, to place physical orders, to do banking, to use maps, to keep a contact book and so much more. Interestingly though, the mobile phone still has no place in the workplace except to make calls (and usually there is a landline for that anyway). We should be drawing on the technology and its ability to help us in the workplace.
We could then move towards the reality of the current buzz phrase: BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Businesses are now starting to adopt the trend in increasing numbers. Employees are being encouraged to use their own smartphones / tablets to conduct normal business activities.
It is long overdue, as tablets and smartphones are not magical devices. It’s not witchcraft that drives an OS, but technology, or more accurately: dedicated programmers and engineers tirelessly working to make your life simpler. Security concerns are also decreasing, despite the massive (“alleged”) iCloud hack, as more companies are producing reliable security applications.
Driving business efficiency with smart apps
People are starting to realise the importance of the technological changes happening in the workplace. Mobility and BYOD are trends gaining increasing traction.
As people’s initial fear of new technologies gives way to wonderment, the business landscape is turned upside down with the increased efficiencies and glut of useful information. Orders are processed in half the time, data is now instantly available (and encrypted, of course) which gives employees and employers alike the tools to thrive in the digital age.
It is possible to reduce your admin, to reduce turn-around time, to ensure more accuracy when capturing data. It is possible to actually simplify your sales processes. This can now be done with advanced apps which are incredibly simple to use.
The question is no longer about whether to adopt these new technologies or not but whether it’s possible to adopt it in time. Anticipating future trends and adapting to the environment are key tasks for the small business leader, so don’t get lost in the aftermath or there’ll be no magic for you out there.
Article written by Duaan Dekker, Marketing Manager of Field Office