Solution providers, and any tech company, should now learn how emerging technologies can integrate into their current offerings and solve customers’ real business problems. Not that long ago, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the internet of things were too costly, too complex, and too difficult for small businesses to consider. However, COVID-19, continuous innovation, and changing business model have virtually eliminated all barriers to entry, providing SMBs (and the solution providers) with plenty of opportunities.
According to Maddy Martin, head for growth at and Dan Scott (innovation and systems director at Complete I.T.), now is the right time for solution providers and any tech company to learn how these technologies can be integrated into existing offerings and how they can solve real-world business issues. This was discussed during a recent session at CompTIA’s 2020 EMEA Member & Partner Conference online.
Martin suggested that companies create a culture pillar to encourage new technology. “Say, “I’m going make time to explore and understand it so that when the time comes, I’m prepared and I know what’s a few years down the road.”
Scott said that it’s like looking at a house which hasn’t yet been built. It’s not about what it looks like right now, but how it will look in the future.
“Try to stay ahead of the curve. I try to keep up with what’s happening. This may not be the right thing for us right now, but it could change. Do not get too comfortable with where you are. Expect to change what you are doing. The best way to look at a plan, is to know that it will eventually be obsolete and replaced by something better.
The Importance of Incremental Enhancements
Initial iterations of a new tech might raise expectations about the need for dramatic change and a complete overhaul of existing systems and processes. Today’s emerging tech is designed for incremental, more measured changes. This trend has accelerated innovation as well as adoption.
“When we talk about emerging technology, I think everyone thinks that we’re all going back to the drawing board and reinventing the wheel. There is a curve of innovation that will occur in every market, every service, and any product. It will flatten as the world changes. Moore’s Law, which has Intel’s [processor] speed increasing by a factor of 24, isn’t going to hold up for long. It’s because we’ve reached a point where the rate of progress has slowed down.
Incremental change works. Formula One racing teams spend millions to try and make their cars go around a circle 1/11000th of a second faster than they did the week before.
“That’s amazing when you consider return on investment. They are always looking for marginal improvements. Scott said that marginal improvements are cumulative. Sometimes, it’s the things you can’t see that make it possible, especially when it comes to services. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an all-knowing artificial intelligence that is suddenly answering all your support calls. How can you introduce new technologies that will raise the bar in lots of small areas, some of which may not be noticed by the people who use the service?
CompTIA members hope for improvements that are more visible than 1/1000thth of a second. However, it’s all about the business impact and how it helps customers do better, faster, and cheaper., her company, recently added real time English/Spanish translations to its chat product. This allows companies to expand their bilingual support capabilities without having to hire or train bilingual employees.
This is a simple improvement that makes the user’s experience more pleasant and the chat agent’s experience more enjoyable. You are doing something of great value that doesn’t require you go to language school for years. She said that you have a new skill and can now approach and help a wider audience.”
What is the COVID-19 Silver Lining New SMB Opportunities Emerge
Many emerging technologies were traditionally considered the domain of large corporations. Small businesses could not integrate them into their own operations. Scott says that this is not the case.
“The amazing democratization of technologies that are now available that a startup that was started with three people three hours ago can now have a virtual cloud platform up-and-running, a collab