The key takeaways:

  • Global surveys of business leaders show that investing in technology is a key strategy for competitive organizations.
  • When an organization falls behind in the innovation game, catching up with the competition can be nearly impossible.

The full story:

It is crucial for business owners to take advantage of the latest technologies. Keeping up with the tools and trends of your time gives you a competitive advantage over those organizations that don’t, and failing to do so could leave you playing catch-up later.

Catching up isn’t always easy, or even possible. Case in point: In 2009 Fortune magazine named Research in Motion the fastest growing company of the year. Their signature product, the Blackberry was the world’s top selling smartphone. Time magazine ranked it #24 on its list of the most influential gadgets of all time. The Blackberry was the first device to allow users to check their email, make phone calls, send text messages, manage their calendar, and more.

But what happened? The company was out-innovated by competitors bringing new technologies to the field: touch screens, high resolution cameras, libraries of applications.

Once the world’s leading smartphone maker, Blackberry was never able to able to catch up with its more tech savvy rivals.

Smart businesses are using technology to improve on their efficiency and their productivity.

According to PwC’s 19th Annual Global CEO Survey, business leaders are recognizing the significance of adopting the latest technological advances. Nearly all (90%) of the survey respondents say that they are changing how they use technology to deliver on wider stakeholder expectations.

Sixty-eight percent of CEOs say that they value the power of data and analytics to deliver these results, and 65% favour customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Other tech issues embraced by CEO’s surveyed include social media communications (50%) and engagement and web-enabled communications tools (44%). Data security is also a top concern for many.

Innovating to meet the changing demands of the market, and to keep pace with increasing competition remains a challenge for many businesses. Technology can be the key to successful innovation. In another recent survey conducted earlier this year, 61% of the more than 500 organizations participating reported that the importance of using technology in gaining competitive advantage has increased over the past 12 months.

Utilizing the most effective ways to handle your business tasks cuts costs and increases profits. Keeping up with the latest technology can help organizations increase their efficiency and even expand the scope of their operations – two of the keys to remaining competitive in a tight market.

And as we saw with the case of Blackberry, it’s easier to keep up than to catch up.

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This blog is by Andy Papadopoulos of Navantis, now a Datavail company.