In our technologized world, we are like sheep being herded in a specific direction by the big tech companies that drive technological innovations. The growth of the industry has been nothing short of amazing to watch these last 20 years. Citing its many misnomers, including Web2.0 to today's Internet of Things (IoT), it is evident that the Internet is here to stay, and the tools we use to access it are just beginning to surface.
The whirlwind changes that has swept through the everyday lives of people around the world, began with a high-pitched screeching noise associated with dial-up. How weird it is that back then, you couldn't talk on the phone and be on the Internet at the same time? But, there we were in the midst of a technology evolution which is now the staple in which most advanced countries of the world communicate and connect. With such rapid changes happening in technology, it is difficult to keep up with all the nuances of changes and how they affect our business. Noticeable trends are leaning more towards mobile connectivity, and the average entrepreneur is unaware of what this means for their business in the coming years.
The IoT brings a lot more to the table than we are really ready for, but the BIG tech companies are doing a great job of pulling us in and spoon feeding us their vision. The challenges we face with protecting civil liberties such as privacy pale in comparison with trillion dollars markets up for grabs in the data mining process that is the IoT. But, that's a whole other story...
More than understanding the current guise of the IoT, is the importance for women entrepreneurs to understand long-term impact of using technology for business. It is more than just setting up a website and using all the bells and whistles to bring in new customers. A soft, yet personalized interpretation of the IoT, is that connectivity is directly related to the information gathered through that connectivity.
In short, data collection or mining happens every single time connection is made through our smart devices, and now even through household gadgets such a thermostats. I was aware of this when working in the utilities industry in Texas when the mandate for all homes and buildings was implemented to replace antiquated meters to "Smart Meters". Utility companies use smart meters to collect data and regulate the amount of power to be purchased from the grid for those households, which could result in billions of dollars saved for the utility providers. Now this example is a little extreme, however, the point is that data is what's hot!
Technologized is a term used to identify the process in which you learn of advancements in the industry and understand how it impacts and drives business. Here are three reason why women entrepreneurs should become technologized to take advantage of the IoT:
1. To design applications that collect specific data - List building strategies like a sign-up box on a website will soon become passé. It will be more about back-end design on a smart device application that brings targeted customers for your business. Collecting an email address is not the same as collecting specific information like cell provider, GPS location, etc.
2. To identify clear projections for growth - Studying the data collected through smart devices is helping large companies like Walmart's, Amazon, and others learn buying habits. Using this same practice will help you to see where your business can grow and also identify new areas of growth based on customer interest.
3. To understand which smart devices are predominantly used by customers - Knowing the device you customers use most frequently to connect with your online business will help you to modify your design to accommodate that user. Using responsive websites or blogs is the way to engage and keep your customers coming back through their smart devices.
Technology is a beautifully flawed necessary evil. In today's economy, to thrive as a business, you must be technologized. It will keep your business thriving while opening up new possibilities for connecting your business around the world.