In nearly every industry, modern business owners rely on technology to manage key parts of their businesses. That’s why I’ve written a series of articles that share tips to help business owners overcome some common technological challenges they face in 2018. In the first two articles, we’ve talked about cybersecurity and skills shortages. In this article, we’ll look at the third challenge: agility.
Today’s business environment moves at a fast pace, and it’s only getting faster. Agility provides an advantage for companies that properly harness it, and lack of agility is a significant risk for companies. In the past, business changes and/or new technology projects would be take months and sometimes years, but this time frame is no longer viable.
A competitive advantage has a “window of opportunity.” It’s only an advantage while you have a valuable differentiator that your competitors don’t have. Eventually they will catch up or match the solution, the window of opportunity closes, and what was once a differentiator is now just the new norm. New technology is most valuable during the “window of opportunity,” so make sure you are the market leader, not a laggard.
How can a business seize opportunities to create a competitive advantage? Agility. Here are some tips to make your company more agile:
Execute timely differentiators
By keeping an innovative mindset and an eye on potential differentiators, business owners can make good decisions, and execute a timely implementation. To take advantage of the window of opportunity, project plans should be measured in days, not months or years. During extended implementation times, market conditions and/or customer needs may change.
If your competitor implements their solution in a few weeks while you are taking months, they have an advantage. Consider the right Cloud technology solutions that allow you to implement improvements in days, instead of traditional implementations that take many months and far more capital investment.
Get help from a seasoned advisor
Sometimes business owners need to rely on an advisor who can serve as an agility coach and a change catalyst. It’s common for business leaders to get caught up in their norms, or to get stuck in “this is the way we have always done it” thinking. The right advisor can help you push through the barriers of traditional thinking, identify opportunities, and drive timely execution of your solutions.
The right technology solutions can help you position your business to be able to quickly adjust to changing market conditions or customer needs. By combining the right technologies and business processes, your business can quickly adjust and seize opportunities while your competitors struggle to change. Staying ahead of the curve may allow you to deliver your products and services in minutes, instead of days or months.
Some people think of digital transformation as an occasional “technology project,” but it’s so much more than that. While technology plays a role, digital transformation is new way of doing business. It drives agility and will heavily influence the market winners and losers going forward. In the next article in this series, we’ll talk about how business leaders can harness digital transformation to help their companies stay competitive.