As the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to take shape companies are increasingly asking our advice about the likely impact of this digital revolution on their business and how they can best prepare for the future. Here we share some of our thoughts.
Many companies are embracing ‘disruptive’ technologies to engage with customers, prospects and employees. Today’s consumer is becoming ever more demanding and expects to be able to communicate seamlessly with suppliers using their preferred technology whenever and wherever they want. This new generation of consumers wants increasingly accessible, portable, flexible and customised products, services and experiences. The challenge to businesses is to be able to meet that ‘always on’ demand and additionally the consumer requirement for both relevance and engagement.
In the workplace itself conventional means of operating are changing and the balance of power is shifting. Technological advances mean employees can work anywhere, anytime, using technology to hold virtual meetings and working collaboratively sharing documents in the ‘cloud’. This can make workforces more productive and increase operational efficiency but raises concerns about employee capability and downsizing.
Whilst the opportunities for digital engagement are vast so, therefore, are the technological requirements. Social media provides a cost effective means of reaching audiences but these increasingly require content to be created in a more engaging way to maintain interest, hence the recent proliferation of video, a particularly powerful brand endorsement when produced by end users be they customers or staff.
The volume of data gathered as a result of these digital interactions is unprecedented and key in defining future marketing and prospecting activities, but creating and maintaining the capacity and capability to analyse the data and act upon it are equally important.
Businesses now need to fundamentally re-think their approach to the workplace environment and to their operational and employment practices. There may no longer be a requirement for corporate offices and their attendant overheads. A different recruitment and management style might be required to encompass these new ways of working and to attract the optimal workforce. Technology needs to be regularly reviewed and processes established for its updating, management and maintenance.
The ever present possibility of attack by cybercrime now needs to be an agenda item for the board of every company, whatever its size. The risk from cyber-threat is now in the top 3 risks for any company that relies on technology to conduct their business.
All too frequently it seems that capitalising upon the benefits of the many technologies now available and in development proves difficult for many organisations. The speed of change alone makes it difficult to keep pace and maintain a competitive advantage. Managing the constant input and data generated can be daunting and overwhelming. This digital age of real-time information and instant impact means companies need to be agile, it is now imperative to react to market changes quickly to maximise productivity and ultimately success. Companies embracing this digital revolution may be able to generate different streams of revenue and potentially completely redefine their business – the possibilities are endless for those willing to be flexible.
This digital transformation of the workplace has many far reaching implications. If you or any of your clients would like to discuss the opportunities and challenges it creates please contact us without charge or obligation.