The quality and quantity of resources a business possesses—whether they be financial, physical or intellectual—often directly correlate with that business’s competitive advantage. Technology is a unique resource in that it can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of others, especially information. Learn more about how you can harness the competitive power of information technology for your business!
Let’s Redefine IT
When you read “IT” in the title of this blog post, what was the first thing that came to mind? Maybe you thought of the last “IT guy” who came by to fix your computer, printer or phone. IT at its core is not support and repairs—it is the technology itself. To fully grasp the importance and potential competitive advantage of this technology, let’s break IT down a bit.
“IT” stands for “information technology.” The simplicity of this term is often lost on its word order. Perhaps a better way to define IT is “technology for transferring information.” Your computer is IT. Your printer is IT. Your phone is IT. Any technology that stores, retrieves, or sends information is considered “information technology.”
IT Could Transform Your Business
Information technology is changing the way we do business. We live in the age of information, so our ability to transfer information more efficiently and effectively is highly valuable in the marketplace. So valuable, in fact, that some companies have made changes to base their entire business model on IT! Take a look at some of the industries that have been transformed by information technology:
- Publishing – When was the last time you saw someone reading a newspaper? Both popular news sources and magazines either have an electronic component or reside entirely online in the age of information.
- Medical – So-called “teledocs”—doctors that can be accessed via telephone or videoconferencing—have replaced many in-person doctors’ visits over the past couple of years. Simply download an app, send your doctor a photo of your condition, and you can receive a diagnosis and prescription within minutes!
- Banking – Many banking organizations large and small have added “live tellers” to their ATM machines, allowing their customers to speak directly with an agent when making more complex transactions at an ATM.
- Film, Music, and TV – Think Netflix, iTunes, Spotify, and much, much more.
Businesses that are first to market with new ways to utilize information technology have a distinct competitive advantage over their counterparts. Businesses that keep up with the trends can reasonably expect to stay afloat, but those that lag behind end up in the dust. How can your business keep IT at the forefront of its competitive advantage?
Competitive IT Starts Small and at the Top
When we talk competitive information technology, we’re not just talking the cutting-edge innovations of the medical or banking industries. Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of information transfer through technology can start with something as small as changing an internal email process. It’s often about how we use IT as much as which IT we use.
If everyone in an organization started looking out for little changes to current processes and opportunities for new tech and implementing them, imagine where that organization could be in six months, a year, or even five! Solution-minded companies are often in the right mindset at the right time to gain a competitive advantage when the opportunity arises. Top executives have a leadership decision to make when it comes to IT—They can either foster competitive information technology innovation in their company culture or squash it.
If you would like IT to be a source of competitive advantage for your business, but don’t know where to start, contact a professional, friendly IT company for a free consultation.