Information and communications technology accounts for 40 percent of the European Union’s productive growth. If you’re not integrating these five tech innovations into your business, you’re being left.
Society creates new data at a staggering rate. About 90 percent of the world’s data was generated in the past two years. This data is valuable for companies, but only if they know how to use it right.
“Data is just like crude,” explained American business expert Michael Palmer. “It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used. It has to be changed into gas, plastic, chemicals, etc. to create a valuable entity that drives profitable activity; so must data be broken down, analysed for it to have value.”
Much of this data is known as big data, a buzzword that describes enormous modern data sets which contain a lot of varied data, such as tweets. As big data is generally personal in nature, it reveals plenty about customer attitudes and behaviours.
Companies that effectively deal with big data can store large amounts of information and process it quickly. Big data analysis helps firms predict what their customers want and deliver it. This responsiveness builds customer loyalty and ensures clients aren’t lost to competitors. Twenty-eight percent of organisations say effective use of big data has significantly improved their business practices.
If you’re one of the 32 percent of British businesses without a social media plan, you’re being left. Businesses of all sizes see the benefits of social media for raising brand awareness, boosting sales figures, and improving customer service. Eighty-one percent of small businesses believe social media activity has advanced their company.
This number would surely increase if businesses trusted their social media skills. In 2012, just seven percent of organisations in the United Kingdom said they felt confident using social media. Further research and training will help UK businesses maximise the effects of their social media presence.
The Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, trend has been embraced by businesses keen to reduce their technology budget and create more flexible, happier working environments for their employees. About 47 percent of British small firms say their employees use personal devices like innovative smartphones and the best tablets for business purposes. By 2016, forecasters suggest almost half of British businesses will have a BYOD strategy.
The BYOD model has proved a valuable way for employers to attract staff and retain them. Studies show 39 percent of British employees would consider leaving a position if they weren’t allowed to use their own devices in the workplace. Clearly this workplace model is vital for improving staff satisfaction.
The smartest companies in the United Kingdom aren’t just allowing their employees to use their own devices in the workplace; they’re also managing their use. Thirty-four percent of British small businesses have formal BYOD policies to protect sensitive company data and manage personal device usage. That’s much more than the average of 28 percent employing such policies in Europe, and the 19 percent with these rules in place in the United States.
Image via Flickr by Jason Howie
With mobile poised to overtake fixed Internet by 2014, you’ll be left behind if you don’t start catering for smartphone and tablet users now.
Thirty-eight percent of British firms say they’re working on mobile websites to make sure customers can buy and engage with their products and services while they’re on the go. That’s a smart move, as a third of smartphone shoppers buy something on their mobile devices each week. An additional quarter of customers make monthly mobile purchases. Thirty-five percent of companies in the United Kingdom are also working on mobile apps to further engage their client base.
Employees haven’t been forgotten either. Thirty-four percent of UK businesses are crafting apps for their staff members, while 26 percent are planning mobile websites exclusively for employee use. As the workplace becomes more mobile, these measures make smart business sense.
Many firms feel there’s no place for games in their business plan, but integrating game design techniques into your company content is an innovative way to engage customers with your brand. Experts predict game design techniques will be the next big trend for creating customer loyalty.
This doesn’t necessarily mean your website needs a game for visitors to play; although, this works for some firms. Instead, game design techniques draw upon the elements of gaming that keep fans coming back. For example, your customers might earn points for purchases, or increase their status for leaving comments on your web forum. These perks will keep your company in the front of your customers’ minds.
In this modern age, embracing new technology is the key to your business’ survival.
Boby Saadian owns Wilshire Law Firm in Los Angeles and is a personal injury attorney in treating motorcycle accident victims.