Silicon Valley superstar investor, entrepreneur, and leader Meg Whitman said that “every business is a tech business.” At first glance, one might think how can that be when not every business is in the tech industry. However, indeed, every business is a tech business, meaning technology touches nearly every part of nearly every industry today. Here are five observations on how and why.
1. Things and Times Change, Including Competition and Consumer Interests
Competition always encourages innovation. Those who navigate competition best are those companies who innovate, adapt, and keep up with or better yet stay ahead of the competition. Companies have to debate between not reinventing the wheel, while staying in front of the curve. Consumer interest changes based on need and what the competition is offering. Technology is at the forefront of the things and times changing, while businesses have the ability to keep up or lose their market share.
Between applications, websites, and the digital and internet distribution of services and things, companies are no longer just brick and mortar. To be connected and efficient, companies have to have some connection to the digital highway. Many companies in fact thrive and survive by being digital-first and technology focused. In fact, this author’s own law practice likely would not have started without the available technology that allowed efficiency and direct to client opportunities delivering legal services.
3. Data Collection, Management, and Analytics
Some of the applications, websites (via cookies), and searching, viewership, and user habits are all in place to deliver services and things to consumers and to simultaneously collect data from those same consumers. However, what companies do with that data is more important because information alone is just storage space unless applied to improve something. Technology today is being used to collect and analyze data for better decision-making that improves, sales, revenues, and efficiency. Technology advances in artificial intelligence, analytics programs, and more have allowed companies to compute genius-level and beyond computations. Again, however, human brain-power, application, and decision-making must utilize technology simultaneously and analytics to help with improving business.
4. Security, Piracy, and Privacy
All the data, financial information, and intellectual property that is collected, stored, and meant to be kept secret is subject to security breaches with potential for loss in value through piracy and an increase in liability through privacy. Technology in business should be utilized to increase efficient and consistent security, while protecting intellectual property and proprietary information from piracy and privacy. There is even insurance now that helps reduce or limit liability for breaches, which should highlight the importance of using technology to prevent fines and litigation.
5. Infrastructure, in general
Information Technology (IT) departments, email, and electronic communication and information in general shared over the internet and Wi-Fi, etc., are all ways to help with efficient communication, but are also opportunities for breaches in security, piracy, and privacy. Companies often have Chief Information Officers (CIO) to do the things like overseeing implementation and protection of information communication. Moreover, infrastructure in general for businesses is very important and where technology can have an impact.
Therefore, when industry leaders like Whitman say that “every business is a tech business,” upon further review she has hit the nail on the head. Every business touches tech in some fashion. How well a business utilizes technology to sustain their growth is another story.