Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links
In technology, if you aren’t making progress, you’ve already fallen behind. Technology evolves rapidly, and things that were keystone a decade ago are quite outdated today. (Just take a look at some of the old photos you took with your phone 4 years ago, let alone a decade!) So, what are some ways to make sure that you’re using technology to the best of your company’s abilities?
Stay one step ahead of the competition
Frank Abagnale is a man best known for his con artist skills by masquerading as an expert in multiple fields. When he was finally questioned as to how he got away with pretending to be a sociology professor, his answer was simple, “All I had to do was read one chapter ahead of the students.” This might sound trite, but it’s a very useful perspective. Stay one step ahead of your competition, and you can be an expert in your own field. Sure, a single step is not always enough, but it certainly beats being behind your potential competition. It also is a great reminder to work forward and to not get caught up in perfect and thus sacrifice any progress.
Don’t assume your clients know what they want
This might sound a little presumptive, but listen to your clients, then make decisions for them.
In a SAAS company, for example, it can be easy for customers to say what they think they want, but many times those are just past behaviors that could be simplified or changed.
If you are part of a technology company, your customers are relying on you to simplify their workday or lifestyle, even if it means not giving them exactly what they ask for.
Think about this: when address and phone books were first created and utilized, it was because people had a specific need. They needed a way to quickly reference a phone number that they would then dial in manually.
Now, if you were to ask someone before cell phones existed how to use a cell phone, they’d likely have typed in each individual number, not scrolled to a name and pressed “call.” It is up to you to improve things by being innovative.
Think outside the box
When something is done over and over again in the same manner, it’s ingrained. It just becomes second-nature. Forward-thinking technology companies should not just be re-creating what is accomplished without technology but using it to drastically change how it’s being done. Don’t rely on your customers to know what they need. Instead, be there to hear their concerns and challenges, and then create better ways to accomplish those tasks.
Recently, Chaucer, a (re)insurance company focused on providing specialized underwriters, paired with Artificial, a company that uses AI products to deliver great insurance experiences for commercial insurance companies. Together, Artificial and Chaucer are working towards delivering superior underwriting services while relying on up-to-date machine-learning technology.
At first glance, this might sound risky, but thinking outside of the box is one of the ways that companies can succeed. Taking risks is at the heart of innovative and successful companies.