You can adopt new technology in an effort to stay ahead of competition or to distinguish yourself from the competition, but the most compelling reason to adopt new technology is because you have a broken business model.
Of course, by the time you realize that your business model is broken, it may be too late to save your business. Therefore, it is important to keep your eye on technology trends that apply to your business and understand what the implications are.
A broken business model occurs when you have not changed your method of operation, but other companies in the market are doing a better job of meeting your customers needs.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, you may want to skip the rest of this article and find some light reading like this or this.
Newspapers have a broken business model because readers have found the Internet to be a better source of accurate and non-managed news.
Telephone companies have a broken business model because customers have discovered they can get unlimited long-distance calling through their Internet connection.
Established companies have a natural resistance to adopting new technology because this causes them to discard the investments they made in older technology.
When they pay too much attention to "sunk costs" and refuse to see what is happening right now, they can be creating a broken business model for themselves.
If you are the owner of a business, you can find that your business model no longer works because of external changes in the marketplace. You can sit and complain that customers no longer come to your location or you can change your business model to accommodate their changing needs.
Sometimes this is as simple as providing an email address for customers to send orders to you at all hours of the day.
Sometimes it is a matter of providing a website so prospective customers can find out about you. The Thomas Register and other catalogs are being used by fewer companies every year. If you cannot be found using a search engine, you do not exist for many prospective customers.
One point to consider is that technology should be used to enhance the customer experience, not destroy it. Misuse of technology has created the ubiquitous "phone tree from Hell" which keeps you online forever with little hope for human contact.
There are some simple tests for what new technology is right for your business. I will try to cover these in another article.
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