There’s a belief that with advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence, there will be an exponential growth in the rate of technological changes. In other words, things will just keep changing faster and faster.
So how can a business owner keep up with the constant changes in technology, especially if the forecast calls for more rapid iterations?
To answer this question, we turned to 11 small business owners and marketing professionals to see how they deal with technology advancements. Here’s what they had to say when asked the question, “How do you deal with constant changes in technology?”
Ride The Wave
As much as technology advances may seem intimidating and daunting, they can also be exciting at times! What I’ve learned through the technological era we live in is to ride the wave. I decided to invest in technological advancements myself and create a whole company surrounding mock interview software. What used to be practiced in the mirror has evolved into a patented, proprietary technology for improving your eye contact, head engagement, speaking rate, filler word count, smile intensity and time, tone of voice, and frequent word count. Technology has opened the door to a world we could have never thought was possible, I’ve learned to not just embrace it, but enjoy it as well.
Craig Rosen, Founder of InterviewFocus
Put People First
Recognize the role human behavior plays in adopting new technology. Few people come to work thinking “I want to try a new technology today,” because most feel like their days are like changing tires on a moving car. Start with a small team of people who don’t feel that way – your early adopters. Then have them introduce the technology to a larger group of ‘key influencers’ – people with large networks who will spread the word. Add regular communications, recognition and leader support and you have a recipe for smooth adoption.
Dr. Jeb Hurley, Co-founder and CEO of Xmetryx
Monthly Speaker Series
Embracing emerging technology is a core part of our ethos. The rapid pace of innovation in blockchain, crypto currency and digital asset markets at large requires constant learning and re-learning to ensure we're incorporating these developments into our trading technology offering. To stay up-to-date, we've begun a monthly speaker series where we invite industry experts in adjacent fields to share their vision of the future and glean insights that our team can consider when developing new products and services. Inverselly, we share early concepts of products with these experts as a means of creating a feedback loop for our team when validating new ideas.
Alkarim Nasser, CEO and Co-Founder of Tuned
Experiment and Determine Opportunity Cost of New Tech
It’s easy to fall into the trap of chasing after every promising new technology that comes along, so I ask that my team make calculated decisions. We gather as much data about the usability of a new tech as possible on the front end, and then we test it on a small scale before rolling it out to the larger company. We want to make sure that the technology is mature enough to improve our advantage without a lot of bugs that may result in lost time.
This is the same advice we give to technology buyers: experiment with new technology to gain an understanding of the opportunity costs. And don’t be afraid to research through online reviews to understand how other users benefit from the technology, or what pitfalls you can avoid before purchasing.
Facebook and LinkedIn Industry Groups
The only thing that you can do is never let your guard down and stay up to date. In my industry (SaaS), there are new developments every month, and you really need to stay on top of everything. I stay informed by reading the most important industry blogs and Facebook and LinkedIn groups. These groups and communities are perhaps even more important because you can find out so much more from the questions people are asking. To keep up with the latest tech, surround yourself with people in your industry but in different niches and you’ll always be up to date.
Adam Hempenstall, CEO and Founder of Better Proposals
Just Accept It
Technology will always be changing. If you are not growing, you are dying. Don't be like Blockbuster! I recommend having a quarterly meeting pre-set for the year to go over changes and processes to make sure your company is up to date.
Don't Be Afraid to Retire Old Tech
I am always learning something new every day. A lot of technology is made to make life easier. Learn about the new ways you could use technology in your business and how it will make your tasks easier. Always try new technology and don't be afraid to retire things that don't work for your business.
Loren Howard, Owner of Prime Plus Mortgages
Hire an IT Consultant
There are two things to do to make sure that you can deal with the constant changes in technology, Firstly, make sure you have a good IT consultant—this could be either an internal staff member or an external consultant. Don't become complacent. Innovation is essential for the success of business, and relying on old technology can see your competitors get ahead of you. Secondly, invest in your own learning. Staying relevant and current ensures that you won't become a “dinosaur”.
Assess Your Technology Annually
Take time annually to assess the technology you currently use, the tools that have overlapping functionality and the new tools that have recently been released. It can feel overwhelming and time intensive to constantly change your technology, but sometimes the change can be incredibly beneficial. For instance, take some time to assess if there is any overlap within your team messaging, your video calls, your emails, your invoicing, your external communication, your CRM etc. Then take some time to find the best way to move forward for you and your team.
Show Your Work
Focus on the fundamentals of why you want to use the new technology. There will always be a new technology to use; what doesn’t change is the information you will add to the technology and what you want the technology to do, automate, or measure. Growing up, my math teachers (in particular) always wanted to see “my work” on how I got to the answer. Showing “your work” for how technology can support your company is a critical step anytime changes happen with new technology.
Commit to the Demand
Over the last 20 years of operating multiple high-tech denture clinics, we’ve seen several leaps forward when it comes to denture technology. While it is demanding to keep up, committing to staying on top of constant changes in technology allows our clinic to best serve patients with state-of-the-art dental materials. Utilizing the most extensive selection of advanced dental technologies and materials available has enabled us to offer same-day delivery of immediate dentures, as well performing relines and repairs in as little as a few hours. Through these technologies, our practice can ensure a hassle-free process at a fair price for patients.
Henry Babichenko, DD, Co-Founder of European Denture Center