How your company can embrace technologies to thrive in post-pandemic markets.
Over recent years – and especially recent months – companies around the world have developed, mutated, and adapted a huge range of technologies. Though, as Dave Antrobus notes, many of these technologies were already in the pipelines before the COVID-19 pandemic, coronavirus has accelerated these developments, bringing many to fruition much earlier than planned.
As a result, we’ve seen a huge step forward in technological systems and applications: the widespread adoption of centralised work communication tools like Slack (these improve efficiencies regardless of physical location). Platforms like Instagram that we can use to market our businesses visually. Internet of Things and voice search for products and information. And short-form video sharing for both personal and business use.
We can’t deny that technological developments have changed every aspect of the way businesses operate. And, now that companies are embracing more technologies, Dave Antrobus, Chief Technology Officer of Fresh Thinking Group and Inc and Co, shares nine ways that technology has shifted business operations for the long run.
1. Improved Communication and Information Share
Effective communication is key to every business. And today’s technologies make communication faster and easier than ever. Companies have virtually limitless choices between applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Slack, social media channels, and chatbots.
Meanwhile, sales enablement tools allow us to analyse our buyer-seller communications and use customer data to enhance customer experience. For example, businesses can create automated, personalised messages to boost productivity and reach customers.
However, Dave Antrobus notes that we shouldn’t let automated messages get in the way of our abilities to build customer relationships. Human touch is essential to branding, and we can’t underestimate the power of real conversations with our prospects and customers.
2. Mobile-First Shopping and Communication Software
Smart devices and mobile-first technology have enabled remote management for every aspect of business, from content marketing and sales enablement to customer relations and back-end processes like invoicing and shipping.
Meanwhile, consumers, especially millennials, are using their mobile devices to find businesses, shop, and share their retail experiences on social platforms. These platforms have made it easier than ever to stay in touch and share verbal recommendations.
3. New Remote Work Tools
COVID-19 has proven that business operations don’t need to come to a standstill, even amidst a global pandemic. Private, public, non-profit, and start-up companies managed to work remotely by embracing technologies. Now that most companies have returned to the office, managers have the peace of mind that remote work is a solid tool should in-house working become unviable.
4. Integrating AI Into Competitive Strategies
Not only has artificial intelligence (AI) opened a host of business opportunities in most industries, it has also become core to many competitive strategies, from machine learning to CRM, sales enablement, and security. Businesses can even use AI to track buyer behaviour and predict their intent to buy.
Though many people worry that AI could reduce job opportunities, Dave Antrobus reminds us that AI is set to open new job roles that will facilitate our shift to tech-focused business environments.
5. Access to Software Solutions
Now so many software solutions have become easier to afford and use, and now that more entrepreneurial minds are taking advantage of these solutions, we’ve entered a ‘buyer’s market’ for tech-savvy software. Systems that once took large companies a year to create now take university graduates only a few weeks to put together. As a result, businesses often don’t even need to hire dedicated employees to create simpler systems.
6. The Buyer Enablement Approach
As content marketing becomes increasingly popular, most buyers spend at least the first 60 percent of their buying journey alone, researching online. Dave Antrobus explains that, if done correctly, the new approach to buyer enablement allows sellers to partner buyers. Sellers can help buyers identify the problems that need solving and provide up-to-date information to help with this. When sellers prioritise their buyer’s needs and earn their positions as trusted advisors, they’re achieving buyer enablement.
7. New Collaboration Tools
COVID-19 left us unable to check in with our co-workers in the office or get together in a breakout space. But technology allowed us to pick up where we left off, using collaboration tools like OneDrive, Google Drive/Docs, Microsoft Sharepoint, Slack, and Monday.com. This way, business teams around the world were able to share files, hold team discussions, and manage workflows. These collaboration tools have proved invaluable for delegating tasks and overseeing project updates and insights in real-time, allowing countless organisations to improve efficiency. Many companies will stick with these tools long term.
8. Cloud Technologies
Businesses that use the cloud can innovate, scale, and introduce new market capabilities rapidly. That’s why so many are making the most of cloud technologies to optimise internal resources and deliver value to customers. These technologies enable businesses to become more agile, customer-focused, and collaborative, especially as they can move some of their operations to third-party servers, which are accessible via internet connectivity. Dave Antrobus explains that this allows for on-demand expansion and mobility and variable data packages without the risk of crashes, downtime, or losing data.
9. Align Business Teams
The rise of technology has also made it easier to align sales, marketing, IT, and customer service teams. By streamlining these business operations, many companies have been able to address organisational gaps, improve productivity, and work closely to meet common goals and growth targets. Embracing technologies to align teams can also help businesses cut costs through time savings, inventory management, production scheduling, speed to market, and lower production costs.
Embracing Post-Pandemic Technologies
Regardless of our opinions on the rapid rise of technology, these developments won’t slow any time soon. And the businesses that don’t embrace and adopt new technologies are more likely to fail in the long run. It’s the savvy entrepreneurs that implement technologies who reap the rewards.
The good news is that you don’t need to rebuild your business from the ground up to make the most of technologies. You just need to make the progressions that will work to your advantage. If you’re in doubt as to how to use technologies to your advantage in the workplace, Dave Antrobus could be able to help.
About Dave Antrobus
As the co-founder of the award-winning business group Inc & Co and capital investment agency Fresh Thinking Group, Dave Antrobus’ technology solutions are integral to numerous companies’ success. He pairs a consultancy-driven approach with software expertise to coach teams into brainstorming and developing advanced platforms and applications, ensuring optimal client outcomes.
Dave Antrobus has led several large technology projects for companies like Google and SimplyBe. Now dedicated to Inc & Co and Fresh Thinking Group’s brands, he strategises technology-focused solutions for companies like the high street healthy eatery Chop’d, luxury bag and accessory brand KNOMO London, popular plant-based milk alternative creator GUT Instinct, and up-and-coming logistics provider Caribou.
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