Carving out a competitive advantage is the ultimate key to sustainable growth in today’s competitive and volatile corporate world. Creating a sustainable competitive advantage that remains exclusive to your business isn’t an easy endeavor. Therefore, business leaders turn to emerging technologies, like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, to stay competitive.
A few years ago, speedy deliveries and competitive pricing allowed brands to dominate the market temporarily until competitors caught up. These market-specific strategies are easily replicable, and a quick competitor’s analysis can bring you up to speed on your rival’s tactics. Today, sustainable growth comes to those who harness competitive technologies as early adopters.
Early adopters of emerging technologies have much to gain as technological innovation holds the key to sustainable competitive advantages. Replicating these advantages isn’t easy as it demands harnessing technology and cultivating digital literacy within the organization. Keep reading to explore dynamic technologies to carve out a sustainable competitive edge for your company.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is indeed one of the most dynamic and futuristic technologies of our times, with powerful applications to benefit all industries. AI-driven applications are revolutionary as they boost business activities with dramatic speed improvements. The most noteworthy and versatile innovation of AI is automation, which frees up employees from repetitive tasks.
Automation allows businesses to harness the true potential of their employees by automating repetitive and tedious tasks. Freed from repetitive chores, employees can focus on creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and core organizational goals. AI-driven solutions enhance productivity and efficiency and allow businesses to acquire modern capabilities.
AI applications cover every aspect of business activity, from marketing and sales to risk mitigation, cybersecurity, and manufacturing. However, harnessing artificial intelligence without an innovative skillset isn’t easy, especially for small businesses. Entrepreneurs are advised to pursue online short courses to develop digital literacy to mark smooth transitions towards a digitally savvy workplace.
It’s pertinent to note that disruptive technologies are not products or pieces of equipment businesses can buy and use. Technologies demand adaptability to transform business ecosystems and infrastructure with dramatic organization-wide changes. Entrepreneurs and business leaders must embrace digital literacy to help their organizations and employees adapt to technological advancements.
Returning to the classroom in the eLearning environment offers real-world exposure in harnessing disruptive technologies to improve business efficiency. Once you learn the dynamics of harnessing AI-based applications, you can improve several aspects, including customer service, monitoring, and quality controls.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet of things is the bedrock of the 5th Industrial Revolution as it creates a well-connected network powered by multiple devices. IoT refers to the connectivity of devices, from printers and sensors to factory equipment and refrigerators, to form a digitally connected environment. IoT applications have transformed how small and medium-scale enterprises use digital devices to automate processes and improve connectivity.
IoT allows businesses to automate devices and machines to collaborate and transfer data in real-time. The advantages of IoT applications are broad and far-ranging, such as reducing business expenses, enhancing efficiency and productivity, and improving customer experience. Essentially, IoT helps companies develop agility and mobility to compete in digitally-driven environments.
Over 80% of businesses worldwide are powered by an IoT platform to become more productive and profitable. IoT networks aid businesses in reducing human labor requirements and improving staff productivity with efficient operational management. These systems regulate and enhance workplace safety for manufacturing plants, factories, and industries, reducing operating costs and liabilities.
Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR)
A few years ago, augmented and virtual reality applications were limited to entertainment and games to create mind-blowing graphic enhancements. Today, AR and VR technologies have evolved and expanded dramatically, offering applications to support businesses and industries. AR and VR applications are everywhere, from healthcare, tourism, and manufacturing to retail, e-commerce, architecture, real estate, and more.
AR and VR applications help businesses reduce operational costs, enhance performance and capture higher ROIs on business projects. Utilizing AR and VR technologies allows companies to harness sustainable competitive advantages by creating immersive and interactive user experiences. Customer interaction and engagement is the most impressive competitive advantage offered by AR and VR applications.
Brands concoct rich and immersive VR marketing experiences to capture and retain customers and cultivate brand loyalty. Modern-day consumers gravitate towards digitally savvy brands that capture their attention with innovative and immersive marketing experiences. Augmented reality offers endless customization, allowing users to personalize their online experiences and buying journeys.
Personalization is the most dynamic marketing trend in 2022, and AR and VR technologies lie at the helm of this trend.
Blockchain allows businesses to cultivate transparency, data traceability, and superior security controls to build a credible image within the industry. It creates an immutable ledger, accessible only by permissible members to share and control information. Essentially, blockchain helps companies take control of their data and information to develop an image of credibility.
It allows business associates and supply chain partners to develop trust by offering superior transparency and data sharing. Blockchain enhances security, reduces operational costs, and boosts efficiency through automation. It puts an end to carrying out tedious paperwork and eliminates all human errors and inefficiencies. Most importantly, it removes the need for intermediaries and third parties by ensuring transparent and verified transactions.
In today’s age of data-driven processes, data security is a sensitive matter that can plunge businesses into turmoil if handled inadequately. Blockchain transforms the data security landscape by changing how companies manage critical information. It offers end-to-end encryption to eliminate unauthorized access and the risk of fraudulent activities.
Blockchain applications allow e-commerce businesses to enhance customer security by safeguarding personal data and thwarting cybercriminals. With blockchain, companies no longer have to maintain separate databases as it offers superior transparency and real-time data sharing.
Have you noticed how automation is a recurrent feature in all technologies we’ve discussed above? It’s interesting how AI, blockchain, and IoT support automation using different technological devices and mechanisms. Automation is the bedrock of digitally-powered workplaces in the future, and harnessing these technologies is crucial to remain competitive.
Cultivating a sustainable competitive edge demands harnessing disruptive technologies with digitally savvy skillsets. Does your organization have the required workforce, agility, adaptability, and digital literacy to harness disruptive technologies and make smooth transitions? This question holds significance because without harnessing power, technology serves no potential.
Entrepreneurs and professionals are strongly advised to pursue continual learning to cultivate digital literacy and tech-savviness. Understanding how technologies impact and improve corporate systems is crucial to harnessing their power.