If you are running an information technology business or an information technology-enabled business, such as internet or mobile, then you should know technology well and its importance. An entrepreneur should know how the product of his company is made and what would make it a better product. This does not mean that he needs to be a software engineer, but that he needs to know how software technology works. This section is actually for entrepreneurs who are not running an information technology or an information technology-enabled business. It is for people for whom technology is a tool in running their core business. In whichever business you run, always give a lot of importance to technology and what it can do. It is proven historically that it has changed the way we live and changed the way many businesses operate. For many people, adapting to technology is very difficult and they prefer to stick to the old ways of working and living. This may be due to a lack of understanding of technology or to a fear of changing and moving to something new. Ignorance always leads to fear.
Giving importance to technology does not mean that you need to become a geek or to focus more on technology than on your core product. It means, be open to letting technology become an integral part of your business; keep yourself updated on how it is being used by companies in your industry and category; and what innovations are being tried out in the market. One can confidently say that there is no business in the world today that does not have technology playing a major role. Even as simple a business as running a bakery can be made much simpler by using a computer for inventory management and billing; building a website for sales and marketing; using search and social marketing tools for getting more customers; simple email for feedback; and maybe a mobile application as a menu for customers to carry. Being open to technology could be something as simple as training your employees on some end-consumer software, like Microsoft Office, or something as big as implementing SAP for your inventory and sales management.
Bill Gates once said, ‘Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.’ But he also said, ‘The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.’ The point here is that, one needs to be careful that technology does not add to the inconvenience of the customer or of the employee and, that, instead of becoming an enabler, becomes a hurdle in business.
Written by Rudrajeet Desai