Technology is transforming the business world and how businesses remain profitable, so this needs careful consideration when planning future strategy.
We have seen many examples recently of disruptive technologies being introduced that have challenged the status quo and led to an explosive growth in market share for innovators to the detriment of competitors; consider the smart phone v Blackberry – and Uber v the London cab.
How to keep up? Firstly, don’t be complacent – look at your products and services to see if you can improve anything and compare yourself against competitors. Review your business’s strategic direction and consider where investment should be made in research and development, new technologies – and possibly in new markets.
More manufacturing businesses are upgrading their production facilities with the latest in robotic and AI technologies, for example. The use of crowd-based technology by the service sector including banks, accountants and lawyers for finance, transaction processing and document management is another.
Financing some types of disruptive technology can be a challenge – due to its high-risk nature, traditional channels like banks may not be available so consider angel investors and even crowd funding.
Many businesses fail to take advantage of the favourable UK tax regime, which aims to encourage businesses to invest and develop new technology; this could be by way of enhanced (up to 130% resulting in a 230% total deduction) expenditure to offset against profits, or a cash refund, depending on the company’s circumstances.
Another way to stay ahead is by acquiring other innovative enterprises which complement or enhance your offering.
Lastly, get the right people on board to drive innovation and strategy.
In this world, timing is imperative as the new, innovative kid on the block will get the most returns.
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