Technology enables us to do more using less time and resources. Technology is driving scalable value for organizations across the world, enabling them to deliver more value with more efficiency, unlocking growth and greater profitability.
Done right, technology presents a win-win solution for businesses seeking to better serve their customers and to grow. Due to technical barriers and time constraints, many businesses neglect investing time and resources into tech-driven solutions. But beneath the surface, competitors may be gaining a decisive edge by investing into new solutions and realizing the exponential benefits that they provide afterwards; saving time, giving precise insights, increasing efficiency, and delivering more personalization, among many others.
This piece is the first of four in a series of articles that encourages readers to survey and implement the technological opportunities around them to drive value, using examples and ideas.
How Technology Can Drive Value and Profitability
Technology is a broad word, and so is value, but this shows the tremendous scope of what is possible. In a nutshell, enhanced value can look like reducing inputs of time and resources, while driving increased client satisfaction: clients who, as a result, may buy more from you, recommend your business to others, or buy into new offerings that your business has that have been made possible by technology.
Almost anywhere you look, there is technology that can add value. Here are some of the key ways that technology can add value to your business:
- Operational Efficiency: Technology can streamline processes, automate repetitive tasks, and optimize resource allocation, leading to increased operational efficiency through reduced costs and time savings. Solutions that drive operational efficiency today include cloud platforms, workflow automation software, upgrading IT infrastructure, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions, as well as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
- Customer Experience: Technology plays a sometimes overlooked role in enhancing customer experiences. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems that integrate with your customer engagement channels, mobile apps, personalized marketing platforms, and online self-service portals enable organizations to engage with customers effectively, deliver personalized experiences through multiple channels, and provide convenient access to products and services.
- Data-Driven Decision-Making: Technology facilitates data collection, analysis, and visualization, enabling organizations to make informed decisions using accurate and timely information. Business intelligence tools, predictive analytics, and data visualization platforms empower organizations to connect data points together and to uncover actionable insights, including on market trends, productivity, and optimal pricing and resourcing strategies. This can all lead to better decision-making that drives growth and profitability.
Types Of Technology For Driving Value
There are many kinds of technology that can drive added value in your business, ranging from physical hardware and equipment, to softwares, machine learning, and cloud computing, amongst many others.
Here is a list of technology types that can be leveraged to drive value in your business:
- Hardware: computers and laptops, workstations, servers, your physical IT infrastructure more broadly, including your telephony and internet infrastructure. Updating hardware ensures employees have high-performance, secure and reliable technology which in turn can boost productivity and improve business performance.
- Software: productivity tools, CRM software, project management and collaboration tools, media tools, and industry specific software relevant to your business processes and requirements.
- Cloud Computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) including virtual machines, storage and networking; Platform as a Service (PaaS) which are environments for developing and deploying applications; and Software as a Service (SaaS) which are internet-accessed software applications.
- Data Analytics and Business Intelligence: includes data warehouse solutions that store and manage large amounts of structured and unstructured data; Business Intelligence (BI) tools such as data analytics and reporting software; and data mining and machine learning technology, which applies algorithms to discover patterns and insights from your data.
- Cybersecurity: Firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) that detect and prevent unauthorized access and attacks on your networks; anti-virus software that detects and removes malicious software, and encryption technologies that secure data transmission and storage.
- E-commerce and Online Platforms: E-commerce tools for setting up digital shops, payment gateways for processing online payments and Content Management Systems (CMS) that can create and manage websites and digital content.
- Internet of Things (IoT): Connected devices such as sensors that collect and exchange data via the internet, and smart systems which are interconnected systems for monitoring and controlling physical objects and processes.
- Automation: Robot Process Automation (RPA) tools, which are software robots that automate repetitive and rule-based tasks; and Business Process Management (BPM) systems, which provide a wider and deeper scope of automations and integrations for businesses from end-to-end.
- Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS): these include recruitment and applicant tracking systems that streamline and automate recruitment tasks, as well as Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) that incorporate tools to assist with employee data, payroll, benefits and performance tracking.
How To Identify Areas where Technology Can Add Value:
Here, we give you two techniques for finding areas where technology can add value. The first focuses on your internal business processes, and the second looks at value with a customer focus.
Conduct A Business Processes Analysis (BPA)
A BPA examines business processes using a range of tools, including reporting from software and employees, to find pain points and inefficiencies throughout your operation. With these insights, you can start to scan for technology solutions that enhance and automate these processes and prioritize the solutions likely to have the greatest impact.
Understand Customer Value Points
By understanding what customers value about your solution and how this links with their needs, you can tailor processes using technology to better meet them, as well as develop new products and offerings that are enabled by technology.
A framework that you can use to map out customer value points is the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) approach, which details a full process for identifying desired outcomes, how the status quo relates to these desires, and innovations that can bring more value. A second framework is the Value Proposition Canvas from Strategyzer, which gives a handy visual map of customer profiles, value maps, and how they relate to your current and potential solutions and products.
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