We all know that changes in technology trends are bound to continue, and that through the years, it will still have a significant impact on the way we work, causing constant business transformation. I was really impressed by what Inam Hussain, Head of Sales Asia at Google shared with us during his visit in Vietnam. Let’s go over the main topics and outcomes.
Which technologies will cause Vietnam’s business transformation?
Social, mobile, analytics and cloud are 4 important technologies that change classic business models in two positive ways: First, Vietnam enterprises can expand from local market to regional and world-wide markets and vice versa, and second, oversea enterprises can approach the Vietnam market much more easily.
What most influences changes?
In this digital world, everything is connected by devices. In fact, consumers, employees and employers are always connected to multiple devices. Think about it, how many devices do you have? Chances are that you have at least two; obviously a smartphone and a second one. Technology causes change and it has become the workplace of a young generation. We all have noticed that the youngest generation is comfortable around technologies 10 times faster than before and they represent important elements for the growth of a country. Think about how fast a 3 years old child can master a new device like for example a new smartphone or a new ipad. The question here is what’s the relationship between the youth and technologies trends? Inam shared an interesting question from a survey in many universities for pre-graduate students asking if they would like to work in companies that pay higher salaries but make them work with technologies that are completely different from those that they are using in their personal life. 30% of students said that they preferred to get lower paid jobs where they could use technologies that they are using everyday. Most of the people tend to prefer working with technologies that they are used to use in their daily life as it has become such a big part of our lives.
How fast is the change?
In the 50s, a company needed around 75 years to be in the honour’s list and to be considered as one of the best companies to work for in the upcoming year or in the fortune 500 firms. Today, brands with smart strategies and following the latest tech trends are making it to the top. In the past 2 decades, what are the names that have had astonishing growth and that were in the honour list?
- Google was founded in 1998, 18 years ago, and has had an unbelievable success and was considered as #2 of America’s best employers, #9 of Canada’s best employers, #3 of the world’s most valuable brands, #39 global 2000 and #47 in the list of innovative companies.
- Facebook was founded 12 years ago, in 2004 and has been named #11 of America’s Best Employers, #10 of the world’s most valuable brands and #280 global 2000.
- Uber, founded 7 years ago, has witnessed an incredible growth and has become 38 times bigger in just four years and more valuable than at least 72% of the companies on the Fortune 500.
- Airbnb, was founded in 2008 and in two short years it has grown from 120,000 to over 300,000 listings, most particularly among millennials and it has become the best top tech company to work for in 2016, 8 years after it was founded.
If we can’t catch the flow of technologies, we will be kicked out of the game sooner or later. Let’s look back at the 50s. Most of the companies (88%) in top fortune 500 are forgotten companies today (e.g. Armstrong Rubber, Cone Mills, Hines Lumber, Pacific Vegetable Oil, and Riegel Textile). Today, adapting a company’s strategy to social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies will be the key to success and organisations should know how to be ahead of others to have a unique brand in the market.
Who is responsible for innovative initiatives and thinking outside the box?
You may think that CIOs, IT managers or IT departments would handle all those responsibilities or that innovative initiatives belongs to CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, but it’s not that easy. One of the biggest difficulties of business transformation is discrepancy inside the enterprise. Imagine that the director wants to do a change but that the employees are not ready for it or that they are not willing to work with new technologies or imagine the opposite situation; they actually believe in innovation and think that it would be good for the company’s growth to work with new methodologies but that the decision maker says that there is no budget for such initiatives or just think that they encounter any other type of barrier. I beleive that the business transformation strategy should be discussed between all levels. One of Google’s management philosophies is called “20% time” and it basically encourages employees to spend 20% of their time thinking and working on what they believe could benefit the company. This helps creativity and innovation for all employees from different levels. Actually by thinking about how to improve the way they work or whether their colleagues could communicate with other technologies, etc. many products were developed as for example; Google News.
Why do social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies all put together become one the most influential trends for business models?
Social networking/media provides new ways of reaching and interacting with customers as for example Twitter, Facebook, G+, LinkedIn, etc… We can have thousands of valuable information from social networks: what people talk about, what are they interested in, what your audience is looking at and you can even get demographic information of your users. Mobile technologies have changed the way people communicate, shop and work and just the way they interact. Mobile devices allow companies to constantly update their profile, communicate deals and promotions, and track locations and buying habits of users by virtue of connecting to various wireless signals and near-field communication devices. Analytics allow businesses to understand how, when and where people consume certain goods and services. Cloud computing provides a new way to access technology and the data that a business needs to quickly respond to changing markets and to solve business problems. Google Cloud Platform is a set of modular cloud-based services that allow you to create anything from simple websites to complex applications. Businesses do not need to spend millions of dollars building data warehouse, they just need to rent it from a cloud provider, and they can then do their work and just turn it off. When the business environment changes, they just do what they did in another cluster in the cloud.