Keeping up with the Jones’

With companies like Kodak and Blackberry highlighting over recent times, just how susceptible all companies are to the beast that is technology, it’s hard to imagine how the smaller companies can keep up. And with current predictions from Forbes estimating that Google and Facebook won’t even exist six years from now, how can companies direct their technology budgets and training programmes to ensure that they are not left behind. It would appear that companies who scrimp on new hardware, software or social media, are the very companies that are on the way out.

If you consider that the internet has only been around since 1994, the rate at which the world has, by and large, adapted and evolved is mind blowing, yet some industry experts have further suggested that this is nothing, that the changes we will see in the next six years alone will outstrip the whole of the last century. Consider the way our language has adapted in line with technology, the way we communicate, how we spend our leisure time.

Many of the casualties of this technical revolution have been borne of a lack of understanding of how significant these new technologies are, Sony were capable of producing something along the lines of iTunes long before Apple did, and Blackberry simply failed to appreciate the importance of smart phones and apps, and were subsequently left behind. A recent study carried out by Computing Technology Industry Association concluded that 80% of organisations found that business had been negatively affected by a failure to keep up.

Forbes reported: “With each succeeding generation in tech the Internet, it seems the prior generation can’t quite wrap its head around the subtle changes that the next generation brings… There just doesn’t seem to be the capacity of these older companies to shift to a new paradigm.”

So whilst we can maybe accept that some of this centuries technologies have slipped on by some of the biggest names in the industry, and consent that they may have exceeded all of our expectations, even those of the riskiest of business minds, the same benevolence will not be accorded in the future. The goal posts are constantly on the move, and the sky is no longer the limit.

So how can we accurately predict, where, as an industry, to focus our resources? What will drive your business model?