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Is Your Internet Strategy Killing Your Business? - Articles Surfing
Technology doesn*t just move fast * it accelerates. That is, the rate at which it moves is actually increasing. This means that offline businesses need to adopt the right technology FAST or they won*t just be left behind * they'll be out of business.
If you think you*ve heard this song before, you*re right. You have.
Do you remember back 20 years ago * in the mid-80's or so * when computers in business were still pretty new? If you walked into most businesses and asked whether they have a computer you*d either get a smug *of course we have a computer* or a disdainful *what do we need computers for* response.
Fast forward 10 years to the mid-90's and computers aren*t even a question any more. Walk into those same businesses and ask a broader question * are they computerized? This time, almost without fail, you*d get an indignant *of course we*re computerized* followed either by a tour of a highly efficient state-of-the-art facility, or by a gesticulation toward a machine squatting in the corner used as a glorified typewriter.
Either way, computers were present * even taken for granted. However the businesses that embraced the strategic advantages that the technology afforded them were able to grow because of * not in spite of * the technology.
So fast forward to today and look at which businesses have grown. Adjusting for the natural ebb and flow of business and economics, it probably comes as no surprise that the ones that embraced the technology and used it to their benefit have exploded in size and profitability. This is in stark contrast to the businesses who resisted it and allowed it in their doors only reluctantly. They, sadly, are either out of business or grasping for what little business is left to them by their tech-savvy competitors.
This is like the business equivalent of *the rich get richer and the poor get poorer*. Except in this case, the currency is technology. The gap between the tech savvy and the non-tech savvy is widening, and it is becoming increasingly clear that businesses that use technology strategically, win financially.
So, what does this have to do with Internet strategy?
Only this. History repeats itself.
The pattern that we saw in the personal computer over the past 20 years is happening all over again with the Intenet. But remember, technology accelerates. This time, instead of a 20 year evolution, it's a lot closer to 10.
If you liken the mid-80's period of early computer adoption to where we were 5 years ago * that is, early Internet adoption * then it's pretty easy to peg our current Internet situation with the mid-90's computer situation.
Many businesses now understand that Internet plays a role in their business. It's just not clear to most of them exactly what that role is. A relatively small number of businesses really do have an all-out Internet strategy and they are and will dominate the marketplace. But the vast majority have only a vague idea of what they need to do.
So, if that is the situation we find ourselves in today * and I believe it is * then if we look forward 5 years, we can well imagine that the businesses that grow because of their Internet strategy * not in spite of it * will possess the same overwhelming marketplace advantages as the companies who embraced computers 10 years ago have today.
The parallels are striking. The big difference is that the rate of change is increasing. This means that the gap between the tech-savvy and the non-tech savvy is widening at an ever-increasing rate.
The call to action is clear: develop an Internet strategy * a real Internet strategy * and do it now. Not next year. Now.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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