Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution explains that organisms equipped with characteristics best suited to their environment are most likely to survive. The same reasoning applies to businesses. Organisations that are not equipped with suitable technological attributes will struggle to survive in the evolving landscape ruled by Generations Y and Z.
Did you know that roughly 60% of small businesses in the UK don’t have a website? A 2015 study by Redshift Research, at the request of GoDaddy, discovered that a third of the people they spoke to felt that their businesses weren’t big enough to warrant a website and a fifth were worried about the time commitment of creating and maintaining one.
When you consider the technological revolution that has eradicated the phone book and even seen The Independent newspaper scrap its print edition, it’s concerning that such a high percentage of businesses have no online presence. That’s even before we take a deeper look and explore how organisations are, or more accurately are not, using the latest technological advances to keep their businesses competitive.
While maintaining the personal touch in today’s climate is vital, clinging to out-dated techniques when it comes to managing human resources, marketing, sales and client relations is dangerous. Not only is there potential to hamper the growth of your customer base, it can also create problems when it comes to hiring and keeping the best candidates.
It is a millennial market
There’s no two ways about it, Generation Y is taking over. Youngsters born between 1980 and 1995 aren’t all that young any more, being aged 21 to 36. This means they are not only at the very heart of the customer pool, they also account for the most mobile and ambitious portion of the workforce.
Having grown up with modern technology, this generation is very tech-savvy, being much more comfortable with quick and efficient procedures driven by email, social networks and databases. As a result, millennial employees adapt easily to new technologies and companies that fail to take on modern tools to streamline processes will struggle to recruit and hold on to Generation Y staff.
The age group is ambitious and research has shown that, unlike the Baby Boomers before them, they don’t consider themselves ‘lifers’. This means that they are comfortable moving to new employment if they feel their needs are not being met, or that there’s limited growth opportunity in their current situation.
Millennials also have a different view on their work/life balance than previous generations, preferring work schedules that are flexible so they can prioritise family life. This shift is driving the move towards a mobile work force. Being able to support this increasingly inevitable business model means embracing technology such as cloud based services and business automation.
Successfully selling to people in the Generation Y bracket also relies heavily on a strong online presence and customer support services that can be accessed online or via social media channels. Businesses that shy away from innovation run the risk of missing out on building lasting relationships with their core market, limiting growth.
Waiting in the wings
Hot on the heels of millennials is Generation Z. A survey by Millennial Branding offers some interesting conclusions about the new kids on the block. Like Generation Y, this group are looking to work for employers that have a strong vision and are offering opportunities for growth.
However, the survey found that the next wave of employees is more entrepreneurially minded than millennials, as they have been inspired by watching the success of young entrepreneurs as they grew up. Therefore, it won’t be long until there is strong competition from young organisations that are whole-heartedly embracing new technology; making it more important to adapt now in order to survive.
Despite being depicted as tech-addicted zombies, constantly glued to five devices at once, the survey found that 51% of those asked prefer in-person contact with managers and co-workers. This suggests that the next generation will produce staff who will become dissatisfied in a working environment that is not advanced enough to free up time for these more meaningful communications.
This is where organisations that have embraced automation software will excel. It automates time-consuming tasks, such as file management, lead generation from reverse IP lookup, reporting and maintaining customer relationship management (CRM) systems, allowing employees to engage more fully with their role, their colleagues and their customers. All together, this creates an environment where both staff and customers are satisfied and your business can thrive.
Charles Darwin explains it best, saying, “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” With both the current and future generations consisting of highly adaptable individuals, the businesses that will stand the test of time are those that evolve with them and embrace new technology.
By Stephen Parker, CEO of Parker Software
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