Not just efficiency: the combination of technology and business directly affects profits. Here are three hypotheses to consider.
The relationship between technology and business has always been very close. Companies have been undertaking digitization paths for decades to maximize operational efficiency.
Every organization bases its productivity on processes stratified over the years and often needs to be optimized. Sometimes, these are so complex that it is difficult to understand where the inefficiencies lurk. Thus, companies use technology (we speak of Process Mining) to find inefficiencies and then further digital solutions to optimize and automate processes.
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Technology and Business: not just efficiency
The relationship between technology and business is often “interpreted” by entrepreneurs in terms of improving efficiency. In doing so, however, they do not consider the other half of the picture, i.e., the ability of technology and business to enhance revenues and, therefore, to act both on efficiency – which directly impacts costs – and on the increase in revenues. However, it is from the sum of both that profits arise.
How, then, can the combination of technology and business promote performance? At a strategic level, we have already approached the topic. Still, if we are talking about increasing profits, we must introduce the topics of developing new products and services, enhancing the employee experience, and, of course, customer experience.
New products, services, and business models
Pervasive technology adoption transforms the business into a data-driven organization. In addition to experience, skills, and intuition, decisions are guided by data, i.e., by a scientific basis that can be further enhanced by adopting artificial intelligence models. In this way, managers can understand the phenomena, predict specific trends and make decisions that will inevitably benefit revenues, costs, and profits.
In particular, companies can exploit the predictive power of AI to intercept growing trends and intervene by enhancing their offer, which means creating new products and services in line with market needs. In highly competitive sectors such as fashion and retail, being able to anticipate consumption trends is a guarantee of revenue acceleration.
Data can reveal great market opportunities and suggest substantial interventions to your business model. Think of the refocusing of part of the corporate environments to coworking areas, which in addition to ensuring an increase in collaboration by different professionals, certainly increases revenues.
The impact of technology on the employee experience
The combination of technology and business strongly impacts the employee experience. In fact, let’s remember that technology is the enabler of smart and hybrid work, an innovative model aimed at improving productivity and, consequently, revenues and profits.
Indirectly, an excellent digitally-enabled employee experience improves the relationship between the company (which is made up of people) and its customers, with a major impact on financial results.
Wanting to give a specific example, in the world of the contact center, artificial intelligence is used to enhance the activity of the agents, i.e., to provide them with materials in real time and suggestions on how to manage the relationship with the interlocutor best. The result is more fluid work, less conditioned by repetitive activities, and more rewarding; on the other hand, there is more satisfaction for the customer, who, in this way, is encouraged to buy.
Entrepreneurs should focus attention on agile working for another reason as well. Smart/hybrid working is indeed an opportunity to save on spaces and services, but it is also the only work model concretely conceived by young talents. If they want to remain competitive in the future, there is no other way.
Always keeping an eye on customer satisfaction.
It may seem trivial, but to sell more, you need to increase the number of customers and retain and increase the value of existing ones. This is why the first goal of digital must be to optimize the customer experience (CX, customer experience), which is far from trivial in an era characterized by complex purchasing paths, ever-growing (customer) needs, and the multiplication of contact channels with companies.
According to research by PwC, 73% of people consider CX as a determining factor in purchasing decisions, and 42% would pay more to get a rewarding experience. Furthermore, companies can measure the quality of CX with indicators, such as the ubiquitous Net Promoter Score (NPS). Through platforms, software, and applications, technology can have a disruptive impact on CX at any level. In particular, it can:
- simplify online purchase paths;
- personalize the relationship with companies through hyper-profiled marketing activities;
- optimize sales processes in B2B;
- introduce automated ticket and customer relationship management systems;
- enable eCommerce systems integrated with business processes (logistics, administrative, financial);
- help the company to enable omnichannel both as a sales process and as a customer relationship.
The results of the investment in CX depend from one case to another, but they impact both the acquisition of new customers and – and above all – the increase in value of existing ones. They resulted in the acceleration of revenues and profits.