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Business without the big five?

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If ever there was an industry that could be considered to be evolving too fast, it would be the IT industry. Even an ardent follower of the new developments is sometimes unable to stay abreast of the changes. Technically adept professionals are sometimes left befuddled. 

Nevertheless, businesses still have to keep up with these trends. It is virtually impossible to stay ahead of the pack without employing and integrating technological advancements in your business operations. Technology has become the key to survival in the present aggressive business environment. Disregarding technology is akin to racing in a Toyota Vitz against the current Formula 1 Cars. You’ll definitely be left behind!

Just as important as recognizing the above, is to be able to pinpoint exactly what type of technologies will have the greatest positive impact on your business. It is vital to be able to select the technologies that can be put to a profitablly practical use.

“So what are the big five my business shouldn’t do without?” You might be wondering. Here are the latest big five: social media, mobility, cloud computing cyber security and analytics.

Social media

At the heart of this, lies the truth that, people are the core of any business, be they employees or customers. Businesses need to communicate with their customers and employee’s. Social media is changing how businesses undertake external and internal communication. Gone are the days of sending Memos to your employees and the typical approach of marketing through bill boards and TV advertisements.

There are much faster and effective ways of communicating through today’s technologies such as social networking, blogs, syndication, and wikis, rich media such as geo-localization, webcasts and Webinars, reputation systems (bookmarking and rating), virtual world events, interactive ads, applets and widgets. The question that you should be faced with now as a business is how to implement these tools rather than whether or not to use them

 


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Analytics

Businesses are drowning in data more than ever before. They are appreciating the need for business intelligence that delivers information and insights to leadership to improve decision making and optimize performance. There is more focus towards integrating analytics into operational applications and processes to monitor for recurring data patterns. Such an approach will help your business to quickly make sense of the data and hence make appropriate decisions. It is envisioned that analytics will move from analyzing history to analyzing real-time information to predict the future.

 Mobility

Your business needs to be mobile! It should be reachable to your customer base from wherever they may be. They should not be constrained to only being able to receive your services from one physical location. Your employees should be able to deliver your business’s services inside and outside of your organization. By being more visible and readily accessible to the community, your employees will be more frequently solicited and in effect increasing the relevance of your business in the community.

Your business should be geared towards transforming its operations through the use of the new generation of smartphone and tablet devices. These devices are forecasted to grow in popularity in the near future. Therefore, if you design your business strategies around using these devices, you will be in a better position to tap into your target market.

Cloud Computing


Cloud computing refers to applications and data storage maintained by remote servers and accessed via the internet. It allows authorized personnel, like your employees, to access data and applications from anywhere. It is the key to mobility!

Furthermore, because these applications and data are maintained on remote servers by a third party, your organizations IT purchasing, running and maintenance costs are drastically cut down.  These are all done by the cloud computing service provider. All you pay for as a business are the resources you use, as you use them. You also won’t have concerns of traffic upsurge as the cloud computing model is designed to be dynamically scalable. You can use any amount of online computing resources whenever you need it.

Cyber Security

Vulnerability of system security of organizations became more pronounced in 2011 as many organizations fell victim to hackers. With more and more businesses being done online and concepts such as cloud computing becoming popular, cyber security should be the core focus. If  as a business you are to offer secure and reliable services to your customers, you must ensure that there is no breach to your systems at anytime.

 

Of course the above mentioned big five are not the only areas of IT that are advancing businesses, but they are most certainly critical areas that deserve attention. It is without doubt that each will have a huge impact in most businesses in the future. So the risk of ignoring these trends is most likely going to make some business services obsolete.

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