Technology has played a pivotal role in shaping modern businesses by improving areas of communication, health, and education. In 2011, Mark Andreessen, famously wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal saying, “Software is eating the world”. Five years later, five of the largest companies globally by market capitalization proved this to be true. Today when we think of major technology companies, the Microsoft’s, Apple’s, Facebook’s, and Amazon’s of the world are no longer the only ones considered. This is because, as technology is spreading across industries, companies such as Walmart and Citi are focusing on becoming more technical in their approach. Rising technologies such as blockchain, deep learning, neural networks, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) assistants, are helping everywhere from scheduling a meeting to aiding consumers in choosing a pair of jeans.
Bringing about a transformation from a marketing perspective, technology has made it easier for businesses to sell their products and services through digital mediums to the right audiences. By making it simple to collect and store data from consumers – how and where they spend their time, their likes and dislikes, and further useful demographics/psychographics. Outside of improved understanding of target audiences, technology has bettered the performance of products and services through performance tracking technologies, customer feedback monitoring, digital engagement (social media channels), AI, UX/UI (User Experience/ Interactions), and tech for measuring the success of marketing campaigns. Furthermore, technology has made it possible for products/services availability (almost) world-wide in markets that they may never have been able to enter prior.
According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Technology is defined as the “the practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area” OR “a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods or knowledge”.
The word technology is derived from a Greek ‘teknologia’ where ‘tekhne’ means a skill, craft in work and the word ‘-logia’ is a theory or doctrine. Meaning ‘teknologia’ in Greek is defined as the systematic treatment of art, craft and technique. It means a collection of techniques, skills, methods and processes used in the production of goods/services or in accomplishments.
The CIAP was designed to help tech (or tech leveraged) ventures that are women-led or that have at least one woman in a senior leadership position. Considering that at the end of the day, every company is a technology company, even if they don’t realize it, the program isn’t solely focused on the traditional concept of technology companies (i.e. Microsoft, Facebook). But, is instead redefining the definition and how that can be applied to help a multitude of companies across various industries operate digitally.
Definition of Technology: According to CIAP
Those born as Millennials or previous generations (Gen X, Baby Boomers) have seen first-hand how technology has changed and redefined business in many ways. Just 20 years ago, technology became quite prevalent in industry and forever changed the landscape.
Here are some of the technologies that changed the way we do business:
Mobile Applications: Companies are making mobile applications (apps), so that their services are readily accessible to consumers at a larger scale. It has also changed the way that people interact with brands and has elevated their expectations for convenience and customer service. Apps are one of the best ways to capitalize the market.
Cloud Computing: Businesses no longer need to be concerned with physical servers to maintain their data, losing their data or keeping up with customer demands, even in the event of an internet crash (i.e. during a sale).
Data/Customer Profiling: Ability for businesses to learn more about their customers’ choices, wants, and needs. Marketing teams can now look into consumer insights gleaned from a variety of data and analytic tools, which leads to more sales and growth of the business. Not to mention, happy customers! This allows marketers to properly target and communicate with their audiences, as well as to better listen to feedback to improve their products/services.
Business Process Outsourcing: Simplifying current trends and costs by utilizing services created by other companies (i.e. call centres) is an inexpensive method compared to managing them in-house.
When speaking about technology, it’s key to keep in mind that it is not restricted to core ‘Information technology’ as the difference between tech focused companies and companies using/leveraging technologies needs to be clearly defined. Kimbal Musk, Elon Musk’s brother, is a great example of merging conventional industry (food) with technology. He expanded his business, Square Roots, using existing tech rather than creating new technologies. Combining traditional industry with existing technology, Kimbal was able to achieve a business model that falls under CIAP’s definition of technology.
The [CIAP] Definition: Merging the understanding of technology-type companies (i.e. Amazon) with traditional business models (i.e. educational institutions) using techniques, skills, and processes to create a strong and efficient company that is well-equipped to serve the modern consumer. Technology can be redefined here as a well-thought-out add-on to a traditional business that supports any of the following: delivery: product/service (the entire aspect or segment), communications/marketing, insights, development, social listening, value creation, and sales.
How does using technology help with Business Growth?
Easier to share information: Through social media, it is very easy to share information with customers, promote and publicize businesses.
Faster response time: Incorporating AI Chat features makes responding to customer feedback an efficient process, so that companies can focus on core areas of improving their products/services.
Increased Speed: Allows companies to serve more consumers and lower their bottom line – so business can do more work while increasing their revenue.
Increased Reach: With most people available online, it has allowed companies to speak to emerging target audiences and provide their solutions to new areas of the world.
Stronger Products/Services: As technology has really opened up the world, it has also created larger scale competition between companies. This competition has been an effective tool in driving further innovations, better results, and new technologies.
In becoming an established market leader, it’s important to maintain pace with the emerging trends and technologies. A company doesn’t need to learn robotics or AI algorithms to dominate the market, but understanding and using existing technology is imperative to ventures in keeping up with industry giants. Regardless of the industry, innovation drives business and by becoming stuck in outdated methods companies can be quickly left behind. Technology, as by the CIAP definition, encompasses a larger umbrella of companies than the conventional understandings of tech would suggest. The definition has been designed to be more generous than the modern view, so that CIAP can readily assist in scaling ventures who may not consider themselves a tech company.
How does your business use or leverage technology on a day-to-day basis?
Are you a start-up in Ontario that is women-led, or has at least one woman in a senior decision-making position, aiming to reach emerging markets? If you fall under the [new] definition of technology, reach out to us through our Contact Us page for more information on how we can help your company grow!