I am quite sure that we all know someone who has refused to keep pace with the technology.
A few days back I mentioned to a young school going boy that I use Yahoo mail. He giggled and said “Who uses that ?”. I told him that I was using this from eight to ten years back when services like gmail did not even exist. Though I have moved on to Gmail but I am also keeping my Yahoo account that I have used at hundreds of places, I cannot even remember until I receive mail from them.
So what is the problem exactly?
If you are an old school person who built his/her business before internet arrived, you probably struggle to understand the speed at which technological progress is happening. This sometimes may create a threat to your offline business. For example people could use internet to buy things from faraway countries with just a click of mouse.
There are primarily two kinds of people dislike the changes in technology
- ones who want to keep away from the changes
- ones who want to learn but are overwhelmed because of continuous changes
For group number 1, there is bad news. Technology will totally transform the way your business is run. If you do not adapt, you may be out of business soon or at least see your revenues threatened by more efficient, technology oriented business.
For group number 2, situation is far better. You are not alone. Even people at the forefront of technology who use it everyday are sometimes overwhelmed by the rapid changes to it .
For example if a business works on Facebook platform, new entrants like Google plus and Pinterest appear. Within a year , Floost also becomes popular. Then, there are twitter, stumble upon and others in the list which keeps growing continuously.
- Amazon constantly innovates to bring new ways of reading and distributing books.
- Cloud computing is causing disruptions to packaged software industry.
- Music businesses have been threatened by rise of compressed formats.
- Since last year, we bloggers have been feeling like we are sitting on a small boat in a sea called Google Panda. The changing algorithm of Google search engine has caused enough trouble to blogging world and gave us sleepless nights.
This all happens in a very short period of time leaving at least big and small businesses gasping for breath. The strategy plans for financial year barely makes sense with ever evolving technological paradigms.
Is it all that bad?
“Threatening” is one way to look at it, “opportunity” is another. Social network platforms can provide a way to previously unreachable audience in other countries, demographics and cultures. They can help you develop relations with people whom you could previously only reach by email and post.
In that sense technology can do wonders if you try to use it to your end. The only way to survive the onslaught is to swim with the flow and then hop on to the next tide when you see it. Everything changes very fast here. If you refuse to learn and move on, you will be stuck with unprofitable technologies with business consequences.
The point is that it is not possible to escape learning the technology unless you are living in a cave. Here are some ways you can cope with it though.
- Develop attitude towards learning and not running away
- Not be overwhelmed with the technical pace. Learn to live with it
- Test your strategies in every way possible
- Try to know about new technologies as soon as you hear about them
- Time will differentiate between useful and worthless. So be patient
- You will probably not get immediate results. Find out what works for you
- Employ younger generation. They often have better idea about new things.
- Observe your competition to stay ahead of them. Its not the time to be lazy
- Create value for your customer using new technologies.
In other words, swim and do not be scared.