This column is part of Globe Careers' Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab
Today, every company is a tech company – yours included. Regardless of your industry, regardless of the product or service you sell, technology is propelling change and having a direct impact on your bottom line.
Here are three technological changes you need to be on top of to stay ahead of the game:
1. Cloud Computing
If you still find yourself trapped behind your desk and surrounded by mountains of paper, then it's time to rethink your approach. Every year, the adoption of cloud computing grows exponentially. It's the future (and present) of business.
A survey of IT managers at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) by SpiceWorks, a developer of a software app for it professionals, found that about 60 per cent of small businesses already use cloud services, with that number projected to grow swiftly.
Safe and secure, the cloud provides many advantages. At Intuit, we use it to enable our accountant and small business customers to collaborate in real time – increasing productivity and providing anywhere, anytime access to information to get the job done.
2. Social Media
If your business doesn't have a social presence, then you're already behind. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms give you a way to connect with existing and potential customers in new and meaningful ways, both for free and through paid support.
A February, 2014, study from LinkedIn found that eight in 10 SMBs already use social media; nearly two-thirds of them find it useful for gaining new customers; and, unsurprisingly, the more they spend on social media the greater their rate of "hypergrowth."
The social landscape, however, is crowded, and producing content for content's sake is a sure way to get lost in the shuffle. Make sure you have something useful to say, add value and aim for conversations rather than talking at your audience.
3. Mobile Apps
Business may be constant, but that doesn't mean it needs to take up all of your time. Mobile applications make conducting your affairs uncomplicated and quick, wherever you are. An app will make life easier for you and your customers, which will produce better results.
Whatever your business, whether you provide a product or service, an app is yet another way that you can increase your reach and efficiency. Rest assured, your competitors are exploring mobile avenues right now and you should be, too.
Thanks to technology, business is transforming faster than ever before, but by embracing it and planning ahead you can stand out in the crowd, increase productivity and, most importantly, improve your bottom line.