Future-proofing your business

Why is future-proofing your business important?

June 8, 2017

New technologies and freeware via AppStores are getting more and more meaningful every day. This drive for technology is fueled by people’s needs and the ingenuity to deliver applications based on that needs.

Typical industries that should evolve fast is typically the accounting fraternity, banking and telco service providers. The clients or users are getting more and more tech savvy and somewhere along the line technologies might (sooner than later) render certain industries completely irrelevant. It just take someone with a specific problem thinking a bit further than the current available technologies to impact international economies.

So, what does future-proofing really mean? Often, a focus on ensuring IT systems are up-to-date is the answer to that question, but in reality, future-proofing means a little more than that. It is also to keep and stay ahead of the curve. Not to stagnate in legacy but embrace the future and remain one step ahead of the forward-thinking individual developers out there. We all know the examples of i.e. Facebook, which started a university dating site and evolved into a social media sensation basically overnight. Nothing out there guarantees that a simple logging system might not evolve into a fully fledged, easy to use, ERP system with the ability to auto reconcile or even auto file to the revenue authorities across the world. The impact on professional accountants might be devastating. Therefor, there has been no better time to future-proof – your industry is irrelevant. Large software does not need to take years or decades to be designed, developed and taken live.

In a Work Institute report, it was stated that future-proofing a business requires a number of approaches: "It's not the technology per se that's the problem, but whether it's fit for purpose. Six in ten respondents actively want more up-to-date technology to help them feel more engaged.”

"The onus on business leaders is to make the right technology choices that make employee and managers' working lives easier – saving money and time that can be reinvested in better systems and continual innovation."

“Executives need to keep on the lookout for several early warning signs that indicate their business is in danger of disruption. The following questions should be asked to gauge your level of risk:

  • Is the core product my customer buys changing (e.g. movies in video format to online streaming)?
  • Are the core technologies of production changing (e.g. 3-D printing)?
  • Is the nature of my competition changing (e.g. new entrants stealing market share)?
  • Is my relationship with the customer being disintermediated (e.g. search engines)?
  • Is my industry undergoing regulation, deregulation, or reregulation?
  • If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’, your industry could be going from ‘mature’ to ‘demature’ and is at risk of disruption.”

"As the world changes, so too do customer needs," PwC concluded. "The only way to remain relevant as industries become disrupted is to innovate and become part of the new economy. Firms need to engage all of their stakeholders – customers, partners and employees to stay at the forefront."

In the event where the company is stuck within a traditional mindset and your market is being disrupted, it is already too late.

But rest assured, there is a way to get even, ahead or become the disruption that is required in your industry.

New systems are the answer, linked to that a completely new way of thinking, that is if you need to minimise this impact of the future possibilities and risks. If you are currently not affected, don’t rest too easy as it will happen faster than you think. These hazards creep silently up until it is too late.

Simplification and blue-sky thinking is the key to success in 2020. Surely you understand that only thought leaders will shape tomorrow. Once ahead, you must be able to stay ahead.

SCAD Software is a South African developed technology that will help you to make your blue-sky disruption a reality today.

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Shaun Orpen


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