With the emergence of each new, potentially disruptive technological advancement, a business owner is forced to choose between two options: embrace the change, or ignore it and hope their business isn’t disrupted. Historically, the former is always the better of the two options.
Accepting new technologies may seem like a herculean task, but it has clear, tangible rewards. Businesses that embrace new technologies (i.e., innovators, early adopters and tech-agile organizations) benefit from better insights, increased consumer engagement and streamlined productivity. More than that, they enjoy a competitive edge in their industry, offering new kinds of value their rivals can’t match.
Drawing from recent research and business success stories, let’s explore a few ways that new technologies can evolve your business. This article focuses on artificial intelligence, digital marketplaces, and big data as three pivotal technologies with incredible potential.
Emerging Technologies and Customer Service
According to Accenture CIO Paul Daugherty, “The playing field is poised to become a lot more competitive, and businesses that don’t deploy AI and data to help them innovate in everything they do will be at a disadvantage.” Specifically, artificial intelligence and machine learning present a major opportunity for customer service improvement.
AI and predictive analytics can help steer and stoke the buyer’s journey, offering recommendations and promotions based on previous user data. AI-powered chatbots programmed with natural language processors can deliver 24/7 support to manage consumer frustrations and objections. And consumer sentiment analysis can help your organization highlight services and features relevant to your customers.
Digital Marketplaces and Consumer Empowerment
“The nucleus of the company is all about transparency and empowerment for homebuyers,” CEO Regan McGee says of his company Nobul. He describes the platform as a “digital marketplace that connects homebuyers and home sellers to the real estate agents that are right for them.”
McGee embraced the concept of a digital marketplace to offer “choice, accountability and transparency to an industry that has – for decades – been widely regarded by homebuyers as opaque and challenging.” Nobul’s success underlines the value of this “consumer empowerment” approach, as well as digital marketplaces’ potential for engaging consumers.
Big Data Is Big Business
Big data refers to data sets that are too large and complex for regular software to capture, store and analyze. Contained within these behemoth repositories of data are rich sources of analytics and information that some businesses are using to gain a competitive advantage.
Businesses that mine and interpret big data can improve consumer data accuracy, demand forecasting, supply chain management, etc. “Simply put,” says Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, writing for Harvard Business Review, “because of big data, managers can measure, and hence know, radically more about their businesses, and directly translate that knowledge into improved decision making and performance.”
As these quotes and case studies illustrate, new technologies – like digital marketplaces, AI and big data – represent massive opportunities for businesses striving to evolve in a quickly advancing business world. Now isn’t the time to balk or ignore technology. If you want your business to survive the brave new world, it’s time to accept, evolve and innovate.