Technology is not bad for your business

Technology and business

Adapt to survive ~ Businesses need to adopt new technology to keep up with Generations Y and Z ~

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. Here, Stephen Parker, CEO of business automation software specialist Parker Software, explores why business owners shouldn’t shy away from evolving their approach to technology.

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 37. 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.

Millennials know what they want
According to a report by PWC, millennials value personal development as their first priority. Flexible working hours came in second place, beating cash bonuses in third. This reflects their on-the-go lifestyle and desire to build the skills that will help their career progression. Money isn’t everything to this cohort. Their upbringing during the great recession has instilled them with grit and determination. They have refocused their attention away from their bank accounts and onto self-improvement.

To get the best out of a millennial, a working structure should complement this attitude if the employer wants to recruit and retain talent.

Furthermore, 41% of millennials prefer to communicate electronically, rather than face to face or on the phone. In addition, 59% of millennials consider state-of-the-art technology as an important factor when considering a job role. Old-fashioned working procedures will result in less loyalty from millennials. They will feel like they are being held back.

As a result, building advanced technology and electronic communication into a working structure will help encourage loyalty.

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 percent 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.

Motivate and nurture
Employers need to consider what they can do for this fresh crop of employees. Generation Y and Z need to have their interest in technology fulfilled and they need to feel that they are part of a credible brand.

They can take on a steep learning curve and thrive with challenge but working procedures should have technology embedded, even if it takes the baby boomers out of their comfort zone. By bringing businesses up to date, millennials can flourish as the technical leaders of the workforce. This reinforces their feeling of belonging, and gives them the sense of progression that they crave.

This is where organisations that have embraced automation software, such as ThinkAutomation from Parker Software, will excel. Software like ThinkAutomation 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.

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About Parker Software: Parker Software develops and sells business automation software with a range of functionality such as live chat, reverse IP lookup and process automation. The company specifically focuses on businesses operating in the e-business, marketing and retail sectors. Parker Software has UK offices in Stoke-on-Trent and Manchester.