The technology of the last few years has radically changed how one runs and operates a business on a day to day basis. In many ways, the landscape of IT is finally coming full circle.
A Second Industrial Revolution
Centuries ago, business was done locally with craftsman and artisans creating unique pieces for their customers. The business owners would focus on providing excellent service and a quality product. The industrial revolution brought mass scale, lower costs, and standardized products. Business owners could scale to be major corporations.
We are in the midst of the next major wave of business where software and global distribution through the Internet are turning the business landscape upside down. Innovative companies are providing scale and custom capabilities and solutions. In this global and intensely competitive business climate, IT is driving the corporation to move faster, but do so under control.
The Internet age has ushered in a new era of economics and the way business can be transacted. It wasn’t long after Internet Explorer shipped with Windows 95 that virtually every corporation was connected to the Internet in some way.
Today, online software is at the core in some way of just about every business. Even the local restaurant or dry cleaner is leveraging the Internet to communicate with suppliers, process transactions, and communicate with customers.
Larger organizations are also building their businesses around the Internet and software. Whether that’s by selling over the Internet, or delivering their product via it, this new era of business will be viewed as transformative for decades to come.
Hallmarks of The Current Business Climate:
The pace of business today is breakneck. With company websites available 24×7 and often open for transactions at all times, it’s seems as though business doesn’t sleep. Everything is speeding up. Software and automation technology enables businesses to do more with fewer people. With a global customer base, companies need to sell and service at all times during the day and year. Why go so fast and do so much? The corresponding opportunity to serve all of those potential customers is bigger than it has ever been.
Better education around the world is driving a more competitive business environment. The United States doesn’t have a lock on the best education system any more. Emerging global powerhouses such as China and India are producing highly educated scientists, engineers, and business people. That in turn is driving more competitive business. Even in the U.S. more startups are being created than ever. These companies are challenging each other, but more importantly, they’re challenging large businesses that have been market leaders for decades.
Whether that’s product innovation, service innovation, or even business model innovation, customers today are demanding more. Corporations of yesteryear rested on their laurels and didn’t innovate on their products and services because they didn’t need to. They were the 800 pound gorillas in their market, so they didn’t have to innovate. To meet the potential of the technology, startups have arrived offering innovative solutions. With a global reach through the Internet, these nimbler startups are out-acting global corporations and delivering what customers want.
The Drive to Do More, Faster
Any company operating today is feeling the pressure. Even if they are moving as fast as they can, have a competitive product, and are pouring resources into innovation, they feel the intensity of business today and know that they can’t stand still.