In recent years, there has been a vast escalation in the flow of business and other information world over. There have also been major changes in innovation, especially running on information technology advancement. Client expectations of those engaged in the supply of goods and services have understandably spiked in response to these changes. The fact that you sell the best product around town is no longer good enough by itself. It is even becoming less and less important to the consumer that you have been in the game for many years, if you cannot warm up to the changes going on around and re-package your product offering accordingly.
The failure to adjust your approach to business and suit it to emerging and changing consumer needs is part of what is called strategic risk. You do not have to do anything wrong to fall in the shackles of this danger that is manifesting more frequently and with ever intensifying consequences as advances in technology and demographic changes claim their place in the consumers’ domain. All you have to do is get comfortable in your age-old strengths and wait upon these strengths to deliver the victory you are accustomed to, and soon enough your business will get retired.
Business sectors that are tech-intensive suffered the blow long ago. They have taken their lessons and quickly adjusted methods of their trade although the damage they suffered lives on. Kodak, for example for nearly a century commercialized the camera like no other company could. The advent of digital technology however turned all this around and the software, file sharing, and third-party apps that Kodak did not wake up to early enough did nearly irreversible harm to the business. Starting in the late 1980s, Kodak has since tried expanding into many other areas including pharmaceuticals, document management healthcare imaging and more recently smart-phone manufacturing, but the former glory may never return. Similarly, few people may know today that Motorola was a pioneer in mobile phone technology simply because the company failed to focus on smart-phones that can handle e-mail and other data and rapidly lost their position to newcomers like Apple, LG, and Samsung.
And perhaps more importantly, some people do not know that these experiences will visit you soon enough even if your business is not as technology reliant as the above examples, and many similar businesses that have paid the price of overly enjoying the comfort of past victory and been vanquished so swiftly that coming generations may never know that those brands ever impacted the world. There was a time for example when it was acceptable for clients to line up in banking halls for as long as thirty minutes and wait to be served. Then the client queues shifted to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) before online banking set in. Needless to say, some banks for example reaped a lot from ATM transaction charges in the past. However I do not see the tech-savvy client of the future lining up to use an ATM or moving around to locate one in the first place. If you run a bank that has survived on habitual and social benefits such as requirements by employers that their employees should hold accounts with your bank and some projects are necessarily banked with you for reasons that do not relate to your advanced service offering, start finding your way out of this dangerous position. Millennial clientele will not settle for such, if you will not match the convenience your competition is offering through technology backed service channels. At best, yours will serve as a transit bank where funds pass for a day or two and settle on accounts in another bank that relates to clients’ technology related needs.
In similar manner, insurers and their broker partners must look forward to and prepare for a time when clients will not visit their premises or be concerned about the location of insurers’ physical offices. It cannot go on forever that clients will be looking out for insurance outlets to buy motor insurance and have stickers issued out to them. Inevitably insurance stickers will have to be available to clients that pay remotely with the various payment options coming up. As such, in a couple of years to come you may have to fold your sticker booklets and make more use of your computer clients to get their sticker in their email inbox. If your business has advantage accruing from having physical presence in many major towns and trading centers, you might want to remind yourself that this advantage will erode at one time. Even if you are the number one player in the market, you will not survive if you remain doing your business the way you did to get in lead of the pack.
There are many celebrated businesses that will lose their splendor by the dawn of the coming decade. They will not have stopped implementing the wonderful work methodologies that got them to their coveted positions. These methodologies will just have ceased to be good enough. Every business that wants a piece of the future must break through the shell of their historic gains, critically analyze what is up coming and continually innovate to meet changing market needs.