In history class, we learned about the Industrial Revolution and its impact on the world. Today, we are in the midst of a technological revolution, with impacts as broad as the ones from the revolution brought about by the cotton gin. As a leader, do you know what you need to know about this phenomenon?
The Technology Revolution
This revolution actually started with the advent of the personal computer. Today’s smartphones have more storage and memory than the first generation computers, and they fit in your pocket. We’ve come a long way from the ENIAC, but it all started there. As a leader, are you making sure your company uses technology to conduct business in better, faster, more efficient ways?
The Generation Gap
Under thirty-fives are considered more technologically savvy than their older counterparts; you’ll hear some disagreement on this point. Growing up with technology doesn’t make you better at it; it just means you’re more used to using the interface. Some pundits feel you should recruit the best and brightest younger workers because of this perceived advantage. However, young workers lack significant things your business needs; while they will learn these things, your business suffers while they do. Older workers are not technologically inept; they take a little longer to get comfortable with the new stuff, but they get there. Once they do get there, they’re as able to conceive of new ways to use the technology as their younger counterparts.
Do You Understand How Your Company is Using Technology?
As a leader, you need a deep understanding of all the ways technology can be used in your business to give you a competitive edge. Understanding your business is not enough today; you need to understand how you can improve your business practices with technology. For example, if you manufacture a product, how do you use technology to make your supply chain efficient, and how does technology improve your shipping and delivery? How does technology improve your customer service or your customers’ experiences with your business?
Do You Understand How Technology Fosters Teleworking?
Have you looked at your expenses and considered how technology can help you cut them? For example, is it necessary to have a big, expensive building, filled with employees? With today’s networking, cloud environments and net conferencing, it’s easy to have your workforce distributed across the globe, working from home or from a small, shared space, and they’ll be just as productive, if not more than, as they would be working from your office building.
How Does Your Company Stack Up?
Have you, as your business’s leader, asked yourself about the technology level in your company and your interactions with your market? Have you worked to facilitate a culture embracing technology, encouraging your staff to use it to its maximum capabilities? If the answer is no, you need to back up and look at your hole card. Technology and the environment supporting its use, can make the difference between getting by and being phenomenally successful. As a leader, you need to make this happen in your business, as soon as possible.