Staying up-to-date with technology trends is challenging but crucial to any modern business. In 2016, Delta Air Lines learned what can happen to companies using legacy systems. Delta’s power outage cost them more than $150 million. It was caused by a computer network shutdown that required it to ground almost its whole fleet for six hours. Most major airlines have since suffered similar outages, all caused by old technology.

Despite their multi-million dollar investment in technology that year, Delta’s CEO acknowledged: “It’s not clear the priorities in our investment have been in the right place.”

His comments reflect the hazards any business faces when it fails to upgrade to more efficient and streamlined technologies. The Harvard Business Review notes that the challenges faced by large organizations and manufacturers when implementing new technology are just as relevant to small businesses, and both large and small organizations can use the same strategies to overcome those challenges.

A corporate business may not face the same risks as a national airline if they continue to rely on old systems (millions of dollars in revenue and damage to its reputation), but they still face proportionally detrimental challenges. Clients rely on their emotions as the primary indicator of how a business relationship is going. Simply by failing to embrace the new norms of digital communication, a company risks losing clients to competitors.

Ralf Dreischmeier, the global leader of the Technology Advantage practice for the Boston Consulting Group, reasons that “to succeed today, every business must view itself as a technology company…. Digital transformations will be successful and create value only if companies address technology change and the required organizational and behavioral changes at the same time.”

A BCG study looked at the varied and powerful technologies and trends of this age. They contend that even something as simple as a communication software, when selected correctly, can enable superior customer experiences and more direct and valuable relationships.

The potential is high, but the longer companies delay implementing new customer-facing digital tools, the more opportunities they sacrifice. Consumer preferences and expectations change continually as they rapidly embrace new platforms and methods of communication.

Professionals know value exists in the right technology. Though the most successful businesses invest in technology, the investments need to be made carefully to bring true impact. To make the most of communication technology opportunities, consider the trends that BCG highlights as two of 2016’s most important:

Robotic-Process Automation. Robots have been able to replicate muscle-power-driven tasks for years. With the advent of robotic-process automation, the technology now extends into knowledge-related and back-office work, such as tasks traditionally performed by call center employees, doctors, and lawyers. The next step of robotics’ evolution could produce a code-free virtual workforce that replicates human actions and can automate any software-based process.

Self-Learning Machines. The algorithms that these machines employ provide more precise results than those that can be achieved with traditional big data. They also reveal correlations that are hidden from traditional big-data applications and can explore data even with very limited knowledge of the context. This technology has already become available to a broad audience through services such as Amazon Machine Learning, which is capable of delivering billions of forecasts per day.

The study’s authors encourage businesses to upgrade technology based on automated processes and intelligent algorithms. Software that simply spruces up traditional processes or adds sleeker designs isn’t worth the effort.

(What BCG has so expertly phrased is what we have termed the Same Circus, Different Clowns Effect. You’ll find yourself victim of the SCDC Effect by believing that a new provider of the same technology will reduce friction in your life simply because it’s a different provider. All the work required to cancel old technology and implement a new one turns out to provide no ROI. For a business professional, this might happen when you switch to a new email sender service, upgrade your CRM, or move your website to a new builder.)

What New Technology Does for the Customer Experience

The authors believe the most powerful benefits of upgraded technology are the “smart improvements.” These improve the efficiency of people working together, which is hugely impactful for any people business. The ability to share, communicate, and collaborate personally and in real-time allows business professionals to strengthen relationships with their customers. Simplified workflows save time and nicer designs are pleasing to users, but the ROI of technology that facilitates communication can enable stronger relationships, which is more impactful to a business’s ROI.

Communicating with customers based on advanced technology trends eliminates pain points in your relationships, surprises them with better service, and redefines how they think of you. Since a successful business is based on emotional satisfaction as much as it is on achieving financial goals, the value for your business is measurable.

Robo-Process and Self-Learning in Communication Technology for Business Professionals

The two trends the BCG study encourages us to watch are at Vestorly’s core. Business professionals who overhaul their outdated communication systems with Vestorly’s find that it is not just a new way of doing the same thing. MBM Wealth, for example, has found that Vestorly’s robo-processes reduce time spent marketing by 90%, and that sharing stories chosen by an intelligent algorithm doubled their reader base.

Vestorly is not a spruced-up way to build and send email newsletters, or a dashboard consolidating yesterday’s technology. Since Vestorly is based off of the most advanced technology trends of the day, it’s worth replacing “old news” solutions with.

As the authors say, “the essence of true digital transformation is leveraging digital tools to push smart simplicity into organizations and unlock latent productivity.” Vestorly uses robo-processes to simplify many marketing tasks others have accepted as inevitable. Our tool has unlocked productivity by allowing professionals to rely on AI instead of their own time, manual efforts, and knowledge.

And in fact: companies that use groundbreaking technology like this to lead a digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their industry average.

Overhauling old technology to implement new daunts IT departments of any size. But on the largest levels, keeping up with technology trends can save organizations like Delta from embarrassing debacles, and on the smaller levels, can enable business professionals to see meaningful results from their marketing efforts.

Start your digital transformation now: launch a free Vestorly account and see what robotic processes and intelligent algorithms can do for your business.

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