Today you need to make sure that you’re keeping up-to-date on the latest advancements in technology—else you might soon find yourself left behind. Technology has become an increasingly important part of both our personal and professional lives. As recently as ten years ago, personal computers were still seen in mostly affluent homes, but now people of all ages and income groups are embracing them along with other electronic devices like smart phones and tablets. People now carry around the power of the Internet with them all the time on devices that fit in their pockets. There is a great sea of potential customers waiting to be tapped through your use of technology. You just have to know how to operate what’s already there to the best of its ability and also be prepared for what’s about to come five or even ten years down the line.
In the professional services industry, today’s ‘norm’ with regards to technology involves an extensive reliance on all things electronic. Medical centers, for example, are turning towards devices like tablet computers for electronic records and various filing systems. The world of public relations has moved almost entirely online, with an increased focus on social networking and electronic press releases taking the place of the print materials.
So, what does this mean for your business?
A successful professional services firm of the future will have gained success by embracing these technological advancements wholeheartedly. Technology, in general, has already moved toward a much more mobile experience, which itself is a trend that is not going to change anytime soon. At the turn of the century, you still had to return to your home or office to check out your favorite website or send an e-mail. With smart phones, people can connect with one another at a moment’s notice. When a news story breaks, people no longer have to wait for a ‘breaking news update’ on their television sets or even a 24-hour cable news network to discuss the topic. Thanks to dedicated news apps that are designed to work with almost any device, people are finding out about events in real-time, no matter where they happen to be.
Accessible Real-time Information
Professional services firms can use these technological trends to their own benefits. Instead of depending on the office to discuss key events and take critical decisions, executives (who always need to access important and latest information) can review business developments, view product status updates, get reports, and even see accurate sales figures on their cell phones. In certain situations, mobile applications and technology is replacing the need for a physical business location.
Likewise, mobile apps in the professional services firms can definitely increase your productivity throughout the day. In fact, they can actually lead to faster decisions and accelerated sales cycles. All the necessary information like project data, client contact information and so on can be at your fingertips—anytime and anywhere. There is no need to wait till you get to the office for running your business. You can do so from your home, on a vacation, at the airport, or even in your car should you so choose.
Networking on Social Media
Another sector of technology that will continue to increase in prominence over the next decade is social media. Various types of social media apps allow people to interact on a speed and at a scale that is almost unprecedented. That technology has the ability to completely alter the product development process for decades to come. Thanks to the unified voice that social networking gives people, it can allow businesses to gauge almost accurately what customers are thinking, use social networking to actually distribute business processes, and even lead to the co-creation of products and services.
If you think about the ways in which technology has changed in only the last few years, it’s definitely exciting to think about just how dramatically it will all affect the world and the ways in which business is conducted in the decades to come.
About the Author: Shafat Qazi, Founder and CEO of BQE Software, is an engineer-turned-entrepreneur who created the most awarded time billing software ever, BillQuick, while still in college. He set out to make time tracking, billing and project management easier for engineers as well as all service professionals, and continues to perfect BQE Software products hands-on today.