We live in a point of time where innovation is intrinsically linked to commercial success; the likes of Airbnb and Uber were firmly established on the basis of industry disruption and subversion. Undoubtedly, new and disruptive technologies are fuelling customer demands, resulting in a highly competitive marketplace. As such, technological innovation is critical for any business to increase efficiency as well as meet their customers and the industry’s expectations.
With the end of the financial year (EOFY) here, it is crucial for organisations to use this time to make improvements and plan investments for the year ahead in order to strive for innovative success. Investing in solutions such as new equipment and technologies, will benefit the business in the long term and improve efficiency and productivity.
According to a recent report from Forrester, Australia’s technology purchases are forecasted to surpass $65 billion in 2019. This means local companies will invest in technologies that accelerate the delivery of new value for their industry with cloud, automation, and AI (artificial intelligence) at the helm.
Investing in the right technologies
In order to capitalise on innovation, businesses need to adopt new technologies whilst investing in skilled staff that can use them to their full potential. Companies willing to be early adopters will eliminate major overheads and yield higher productivity.
While most companies may see new technologies as a source of major expense and their old technology as an investment rather than a sunk-cost, the truth is that the new technology will likely eliminate costs while serving to achieve higher efficiencies.
The 2018 Future Enterprise survey from Seyfarth Shaw LLP revealed that 62 percent of business leaders believe automation and AI would have the biggest impact on business operations and processes over the next five years. Additionally, 21 percent agreed it would impact their products and services, while 17 percent also foresee a change in the size and shape of their workforce.
For industries like Manufacturing and Architecture, the move towards cloud-based services and 3D parametric modelling, simulation and collaboration solutions will enable greater efficiency and agility in terms of offerings that will meet the needs of their customers.
The importance of training and upskilling
When it comes to making the most of this year’s financial investments, an often under-funded but integral area of development is training, as it helps companies develop employees with specific skills. It also allows staff members to gain a working knowledge on the latest and emerging technologies, which ultimately benefits the businesses bottom line.
People are a critical success factor to any process of improvement or change management initiative. Any business, no matter their size, sector or services, needs a highly skilled team to be successful; hence it is crucial to invest in staff training. This can be achieved with minimal impact to a staff member’s work capacity as most courses can be completed online or in person, using seminars, for both short and full time courses.
Trained staff will help companies identify skill gaps internally and subsequently increase efficiency. Moreover, investment in training programs can increase staff members’ motivation, resulting in better retention and a more driven team. To ensure the change is supported and technologies are used correctly and confidently, staff should be equipped with meaningful information, provided with hands-on training and allowed time to adapt.
To top it off, the ATO provides tax benefits to employees who undergo specific training programs designed to suit an employee’s current employment. When a change management initiative requires specific skills or knowledge in an employee’s workplace, businesses can provide maximum tax benefits for the team, which ultimately incentivises training and assists with meeting new business objectives.
Capitalising in new and advanced technologies as well as training is essential for organisations to meet business objectives. By adopting new technologies and implementing staff training initiatives, both staff and customer satisfaction will remain high.
Both of which are vital elements for any business to operate successfully and without them, companies would risk ceasing operation. Therefore, the onus is on the organisations to get themselves ready for the marketplace and to ensure that they meet the customer demands whilst remaining competitive in the market.