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Strategic Technology Adoption in Uncertain Times

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As a business leader, you know that relatively little in any industry is guaranteed. However, some periods present greater degrees of uncertainty than others. This can be challenging, as it affects everything from your ability to make decisions to the sense of stability your employees have in their positions. But it's worth remembering that uncertainty doesn't necessarily mean you're powerless.

The rise of the digital landscape has brought businesses a range of technologies that assist with operations. When you take a strategic approach to adoption, some of these can be powerful tools to help you navigate uncertainty and mitigate risks. It's quite a dynamic field, but we're going to explore a few of the areas in which tech can support your business through its challenges.

Influencing Decision-Making

Making savvy decisions is essential to the success of any business. This can certainly be more difficult during uncertain times. Firstly, uncertainty can make it hard to rely on current institutional knowledge and effectively predict outcomes. It can also make business owners understandably a little more risk-averse. Strategic tech adoption can help here.

Perhaps the most important tools at the moment for effective decision-making combine artificial intelligence (AI) with devices in the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors in this connected ecosystem can gather real-time data on everything from your inventory movement to the actions of your staff members.

Mindfully adopting AI platforms that are integrated with these devices and other software in your business can open you up to useful analytics. AI-driven software can then use machine learning algorithms to establish potentially more accurate predictions about the operational outcomes of your business practices or the direction of the market, allowing you to make more informed and comfortable decisions. Importantly, AI analytics software can provide real-time insights on current market and operational risks, enabling you to make choices that help mitigate these.

It's important to remember, though, that you need to optimize your data for use with AI, including migrating it to cloud platforms that enable AI tools to more efficiently access it. In addition, you also need to exercise caution to ensure you're using AI responsibly. Maintaining an awareness of the potential for inaccuracies and bias related to programming helps you make the most of these systems while avoiding missteps.

Navigating Economic Challenges

One of the key influences of business uncertainty is the state of the economy. This may be the shifts in the wider economic circumstances, such as recession or the types of downturns we saw during COVID-19. It might be more localized economic difficulties, such as less engagement with your specific industry or customer lulls in your business. Getting past these types of issues can benefit from strategic technology use.

Businesses like yours can use various types of technology to navigate financial uncertainty. AI-driven automation can be particularly useful for cutting costs related to inefficiencies and errors. For instance, generative AI can take care of repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as data entry, bookkeeping, and billing. This frees up your human workers to focus on tasks that might directly generate revenue. Indeed, virtual chief financial officer (VCFO) services can be useful when finances are tighter and often utilize AI-driven automation to deliver insights for you to effectively adjust your activities. 

Another useful tool for financial uncertainty is remote working tech. Operating a physical workspace can drain financial resources with rent, utilities, and other expenses. By adopting remote working platforms - like cloud project management software and communication tools - you may be able to arrange for some of your workforce to operate from their own homes. This can allow you to be more agile with your resources and cut down on unnecessary expenses.

Driving Innovation

It's natural for business leaders to feel like they need to not try anything too radical during uncertain times. Yet, it's important to recognize how vital pushing for innovation is even when the landscape is a little shaky. This applies to different areas, whether it's introducing new products to boost sales, trying fresh customer service approaches to improve engagement, or even practical changes that enhance the efficiency of your organization.

Adopting technology can assist with innovation. Some of the tools here include:

Collaborative ideation software

Your staff will be key to ideating and developing innovations in uncertain times. By making it easier for them to collaborate on ideas, you smooth their path to creating better products and systems. Virtual whiteboard software - like Miro and Stormboard - can enable employees within teams, across departments, and working remotely to contribute to brainstorming and ideation asynchronously. As a result, they can share thoughts, spark concepts off of one another, and forge routes forward.

eLearning platforms

A well-educated staff with perspectives from diverse subject areas each has skills that can contribute to innovation. Therefore, it's in your company's best interests to support worker development. Providing access to eLearning platforms in a wide range of courses can be a convenient and cost-effective approach to delivering training. In some instances, using extended reality (XR) learning that incorporates virtual reality environments and physical actions can give staff hands-on experience that builds the skills they need to innovate sooner.

Conclusion

Strategic technology adoption can help your business to navigate uncertain times. AI-driven tools, in particular, are proving valuable in everything from predictive analytics for decision-making to process automation that minimizes costs. Bear in mind that tech isn't a magic wand, though. You need to look at what the priorities are for your business in difficult times and invest in elements that can help you most effectively address your specific challenges.

Published Wednesday, June 05, 2024 7:01 AM by David Marshall
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