September 29, 2015
Technology is widely hailed for building businesses and creating jobs. Mega giants like Google, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Samsung, and others employ thousands of workers apiece, and none of these businesses would be possible without technology. But there's always a flip-side to the coin, and the truth is that many businesses have lost out to technology. When have you been to a video store? When was the last time you picked up the phone and called a travel agent or bought an LP record? These businesses either adapted to the changing technology or went belly up. How can your business stay afloat?
Is Tech Killing Your Industry or Just Evolving It?
In many industries, technology is simply eliminating dirty, low-paying, often dangerous positions and creating safer, cleaner, more lucrative jobs.
The first gauge isn't what is happening at your front doorstep, but what is happening globally. The industry magazines and blogs have great information on what's expected in terms of technology. Is tech creating jobs in your field, eliminating jobs in your field, or simply changing the jobs in that industry?
For example, many union reps and supporters have raged against automation in manufacturing and warehousing -- believing that this technology replaces human workers. The fact is, automation isn't eliminating manufacturing and warehousing jobs at all. Instead, the automation makes better, cleaner, safer jobs for people. Machines are taking over the work that was notoriously reserved for unskilled labor. These jobs were messy, unsafe, and often underpaid. Yet the machines that do these jobs now are highly sophisticated. Manufacturers are desperately looking for skilled workers to design, build, install, maintain, and repair these machines. Often, tech isn't killing jobs as much as it is requiring workers to evolve -- just as blacksmiths, typesetters, and buggy builders did in the past.
This is also the case with the post-theater movie industry, travel industry, music industry, and media. None of these industries went away. They just evolved. Video Express stores left and Netflix and Redbox stepped in. Record stores closed while Spotify, Sirius, and iHeartRadio opened up. Newspapers stopped printing, but the Fox News app and Yahoo! News revved up. The key is finding the next Netflix before your last Video Express folds.
How to Stay Relevant and Solvent in the Age of Technology
In most industries, embracing SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud) is all it takes to stay on top of trends and remain relevant and solvent.
How can you assure your company has a solid future as wave after wave of technology rolls on shore, changing the landscape of business forever?
- Embrace SMAC: SMAC -- Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud -- are the forces most responsible for today's technological changes. Find out how these elements are changing your industry and invest whatever it takes to stay on top of the trends. If your competitors are offering customers mobile apps and using big data marketing while you aren't, you'll be left behind quickly.
- Replace legacy systems with modern software. The new stuff supports mobile, data analytics, and cloud, but it also offers modern workflow automation and is much easier to use and train on. Modern software isn't just the key to connecting with and satisfying customers, it is also pivotal in keeping employee turnover low.
- Stay engaged in industry discussions. Follow industry leaders on social media and in the blogs. Better yet, be an industry leader. Use your own blogs and social media platforms to keep the industry informed on upcoming technologies and the changes these innovations are expected to make. Trade shows, conferences, webinars, and podcasts are great places to learn about industry changes as well as to get the word out about relevant technological innovations.
With research and vigilant watchfulness, you can keep your business relevant and profitable no matter how technology changes your industry and the world. Is your IT team prepared for the future? Visit NETSCOUT to download the free whitepaper, "The New Equation for Faster IT Problem Solving"