Sounds futuristic, doesn’t it? But the idea is nothing new – we didn’t come up with it. In fact, it’s been repeated by the big names in the software world for over two decades now – from Watts S. Humphrey, one of the pioneers of American software engineering to Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft .
But, does that mean that non-software companies will die out as everyone busies themselves writing software?
While in theory we could see this happen, we don’t think we’ll live long enough to see it ourselves. Maybe in a thousand years? But, let’s not jump that far into the future.
As far as we know, the “software revolution” that we know today doesn’t mean your local bakery will stop selling your favourite cinnamon rolls. Or that your accountant won’t get you ready for the Tax Day (or so we hope).
However, that doesn’t mean the lightspeed adoption of software and digitalization won’t impact the market at all. Even today, thousands of companies all around the world will need to embrace software if they want to stay in business. Why? Here are 5 reasons why software is changing the business world as we know it.
The wide adoption of different software solutions forces businesses to start embracing uncertainty. In the end, it takes just one software company to completely revolutionize the whole industry. Even if the industry is among the most boring ones, and has little to do with technology or software.
Great examples of such disruption are both the hospitality and transportation services industry, where giants like Airbnb and Uber have not just acquired a significant portion of market, but completely changed the rules of the game. All that without actually owning a fleet of cars or rental real estate.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should strive to become the next Uber – but finding even a small advantage that particular software can give you over your competitors could help you reduce uncertainty and accelerate business growth.
Unfortunately, if you don’t participate in this growing software trend, the lack of software adoption will put you out of business. Software automates, speeds up, and eliminates unnecessary processes. And all of those processes cost companies time and money – two core resources required for them to thrive. If you don’t leverage software to start saving time and cutting down costs, someone else will. Most likely, your competitors.
The benefits that come with the use of the right software are so significant – regardless of the industry – that sooner or later they can allow early adopters to eliminate those left behind.
Businesses like Airbnb or Uber have raised the standards so high (yes, that’s why customers love them), thousands of smaller businesses were forced to either adopt their rules or look for proprietary solutions that’d give their customers similar benefits. They were forced to find their own “competitive advantage”.
The good news is even small businesses can use software to compete – and business owners know that, with 91% of companies employing 11 people or more using some kind of CRM solutions . Software can help companies find their own competitive advantages – regardless of the scale. Easy access to SaaS solutions has made it possible for companies to take advantage of software regardless of whether they can afford a team of developers or not. But what does it have to do with companies that use software “becoming” software companies?
The growing competition means that businesses need to look for new ways to build their competitive advantage. This will force many traditional businesses to look at software as not just a way to become more productive, but as a way to survive. They’ll need to master the use of software, becoming software-based companies – even if they won’t be developing it themselves.
But internal statistics are one thing. There’s one, even more important player – your customers are already using software to communicate, evaluate, and analyze. In many cases, they’re more advanced in doing so than many companies – which means that unless you join them, they’ll leave you and go to those who “get” them and “connect” with them.
Of course, software itself is never going to move your business forward if you don’t know how to benefit from it. One of the biggest advantages of software is the ability to automatically collect, process, and analyze data about your business – including that about your customers, access to which can make or break any business. Many businesses are already collecting and analyzing millions of pieces of data every day.
One such example is Target, one of the biggest US retailers. The company is using powerful analytics systems to gather and process location data about their customers to deliver them customized recommendations, and as a result, increase their sales.
Some companies went even further and are already experimenting with fully computerized stores. MediaMarktSaturn has launched its first cashier-less store back in 2018, and Alibaba owns a Café that can accommodate up to 50 people and all payments are processed automatically. Of course, these are huge companies that merge the use of software with advanced hardware – but it’s another example of the direction certain industries are heading.
Software itself won’t put you out of business – but, your competitors can. Where the real advantage of software lies is the fact that it’s hard to imagine anything that’d limit its use. In the software world, almost anything that can be imagined can be developed.
The key is to think about where you want your business to be in one, two or five years from now – and analyze its needs and how software can help you fulfill them to achieve a competitive advantage. Next, all you need is to develop that software before your competitors do that.
Naturally, you can also find a partner that’ll help you do all that – from helping you come up with the most beneficial solution to developing it from scratch and supporting you in its use. If that sounds like something that could help your business – don’t hesitate and shoot us a message using this contact form.