Every company is a technology company. Why? With no signs of slowing down, our fast-paced digital-first environment transforms all businesses into technology companies. As Forbes points out, “Today, no company can make, deliver or market its product efficiently without technology.”
However, the use of technology is only one factor in determining industry status. The speed of digital innovation followed by ever-changing consumer expectations makes using, creating and selling technology a part of every organization’s journey.
The Boston Consulting Group declares that companies from all industries move into the tech sector because it’s “about becoming technology-driven enterprises with the capacity to capture and capitalize on vast lakes of customer and other data and ultimately the capability to create digitally enabled market-leading goods and services.” Every company is a technology company because tech touches every aspect of our lives.
1. CEOs embrace a restless mindset
Whether you’re a scrappy startup or traditional retail store, enthusiasm and an eagerness to adapt to the omnichannel experience put the CEO mindset solidly in the tech arena. According to the New York Times, technology companies are “synonymous with innovation, research, and development, long-term thinking.” This mindset drives action at all levels. It’s impossible to compete if you stick with what’s comfortable and secure. Our digital-first environment requires businesses to seek innovative ideas to manage everything from labor costs to brand awareness.
2. New generations expect a tech focus
At the heart of a successful tech company resides a culture that attracts and retains top talent. Deloitte reports that “59 percent of Gen Z say they expect to stay with their current employer for less than two years,” suggesting that for companies to survive the tight labor market they must appeal to tech-savvy generations. With a culture that doesn’t fear technology, companies can generate interest among top talent. Thrive Global says, “Technology can help create an environment in which employees feel challenged, motivated, and engaged.”
3. Digital-first customers demand intuitive tech
Between a global economy and the saturation level of internet users, sits a variety of traditional businesses that increasingly interact with customers and suppliers solely online. For many, a portion of their sales wouldn’t exist without the use of technology.
Keeping up with expectations means exploring all avenues that satisfy the convenience-driven consumer who craves authenticity and requires a seamless omnichannel experience. S&P Global asserts that every industry is now a tech industry because “businesses have effective technologies at their fingertips to quickly and effectively address customer pain points, while at the same time dramatically improving their internal operations.”
4. Business growth isn’t possible without technology
A competitive business requires investment in digital marketing and automation. From data scientists embedded in marketing teams to virtual assistants, each department, finance to customer service, relies on technology for their day-to-day operations.
Jamie Hinton of Razor told Tech Nation that ”You don’t even have to sell technology directly, or as a service. If the contribution of technology to your business and your customers becomes an integral part of your operations, then it’s time to ask yourself if you’re a company in X industry, or if you’re a tech company that also happens to be in X industry.”
5. Tech development happens in multiple departments
From machine learning to artificial intelligence, tech has gone mainstream. Developing tech is no longer dependent on third-party integrations. Instead, internal teams work on innovative ideas to streamline processes and personalize the customer experience. Today’s company develops and manipulates various types of technology to ensure the organization performs at its highest level.
6. Traditional products are tech-enabled tools
Regardless of the industry, all companies sell technology-equipped products. The use of data analytics allows companies to add tech to products and meet growing customer demand. With smart mattresses and tech-enabled pillows, very few businesses are left untouched by the need to provide high-tech products.
7. Customers expect service-related technology
From AI chatbots to new mobile apps, customers rely on technology to communicate, purchase, and learn about products and services. Although not all businesses sell tech as a service, they use it to assist customers in numerous ways. Organizations that aren’t technically savvy won’t thrive in this competitive environment. Every company is a tech company because it’s what people want and need from a business.
8. Collaboration and partnerships focus on innovative value
As the tech line blurs, companies from different industries share data and tools during collaboration. From open sourcing of tech to joining forces to develop solutions for social problems, businesses cross industry lines to stay competitive. Martin Zwilling, founder, and CEO of Startup Professionals writes in Forbes that collaboration “includes the initiative to bring up issues and tap the wisdom of “crowds” through social media, employee forums, and listening to industry influencers.”
9. Agility defines competitiveness
No business can afford to adjust slowly, or they risk losing their market share to more nimble service and product providers. With shortened product lifestyles and accelerated digital advances, being able to update methods and technology quickly is crucial to success. Business.com reports that “Technology systems will need to be more lean and flexible to fully take advantage of new opportunities. This means being able to rapidly develop solutions and infrastructure to explore a problem space, then rapidly ramp up if the opportunity turns out to be significant.” Gone are the days where product testing and development took years instead of months. The swift pace of today’s market requires agility at all levels.
10. Leveraging technology for across the board is standard
From state-of-art data collection systems to supply chain management, no aspect of a business is left untouched by technology. Successful companies use tech continuously to produce new goods and services. Beyond products, technology plays a role in marketing, recruiting, and internal communications. Every company uses tech to improve not only the lives of their customers but also internal workflows.
By dipping into the tech industry and embracing a customer-centric and digital-first mindset, business leaders protect their organization from upheaval. As Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz told Bloomberg “the distinction between companies that make tech and those that use it is becoming irrelevant.”
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