New research has found technology leaders in the business world doubled down on their tech investments during the pandemic to great success. They are growing five times faster than technology laggards. What is it these companies are doing differently to the laggards, and how can we repeat their success?
Let’s take a look.
Related content: Smarter Not Harder: Empower Your Business With Martech
Investing in cloud and AI
Tech leaders prioritised investing in this area at the start of the pandemic, which allowed them to increase efficiencies and collaboration and remove siloes. With integrated systems and a one-source-of-truth data hub, these companies can share data, information, resources, and insights across all their departments, which in turn creates a highly collaborative workplaces that encourages creativity, innovation, and creative problem solving.
Moreover, by bringing AI and automation on board, these businesses are shifting simple, repetitive, and often time-consuming tasks onto machines. This in turn frees up time for workers to focus on more complex and creative pursuits for the business.
Focusing on innovation
Cultivating innovation is more than freeing up time and providing the right resources, it also requires a mindset shift. Emphasising collaboration sets the stage, while encouraging creativity and outside the box thinking is the critical. Technology leaders excel at bringing people together—be it in person or online—to find creative solutions to their problems.
Innovation is also best sparked when people of different walks of life and backgrounds come together. A study from the Wall Street Journal found that ‘companies with above-average diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45 per cent of total) than from companies with below average diversity (26 per cent).’
Read more: Embracing diversity in the workplace
Scaling up their technology
Another aspect that separates leading businesses from the laggards is how they scale up their technology across their business. Leaders not only look to roll out business-wide solutions, technology and apps, but they are regularly auditing their systems and technologies to ensure they are:
- Integrated and allow information to flow through to the rest of the businesses apps and systems.
- Optimised to make sure all apps are being used to their fullest potential. (A common problem in the martech space).
- Streamlined, with any technology and system duplications removed.
Laggards on the other hand, are more likely to have siloed systems that are not integrated with the rest of the business, meaning valuable information is lost between departments and along the customer journey.
Investing in their people
With the pandemic acting as a wake-up call on work-life balance, well-being and mental health, leading companies are not only investing in technology and innovation, but the people on the ground who make it all happen. Leaders have realised that without engaged and motivated staff, performance and profit aren’t the only things that suffers. Creativity dwindles, innovation stalls and collaboration becomes strained.
With this in mind, leaders are actively investing in their people, providing tailored professional development, flexible working, and education, tools and resources to support their well-being and mental health. Leaders know that a positive employee experience right is key for retaining your best staff but also attracting the best talent—especially in today’s tight labour market.
What are leaders doing differently?
1. It’s in the mindset
Leaders look for ways to innovate. They are pavers, they look to forge new paths no one else has trodden. By comparison, laggards are merely looking to keep up with the competition. There’s little inclination to innovate, instead, they merely seek to be up to par—particularly when it comes to customer experience. To use the path analogy again, they’re hurrying along the beaten track, trying to find the peers that have left them behind. What they don’t know is, their peers have all invested in bitumen and cars and are accelerating even faster.
2. Holistic thinking
Leaders look beyond profit and performance. Adopting responsible practices, investing in well-being and mental health, and prioritising work-life balance, professional development and fair wages to attract top talent. Leaders are thinking beyond lifting their bottom line, they seek to engage and improve all aspects of their business.
Marketing technology is not only changing how we market but the experiences customers receive and expect from brands. Learn how you can track, improve and grow your customer experience with our customer experience management software, Customer Monitor.
 Levine, Stuart R. ‘Diversity Confirmed To Boost Innovation And Financial Results,’ Forbes. Published 15 January 2020. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesinsights/2020/01/15/diversity-confirmed-to-boost-innovation-and-financial-results/