Staying Relevant in the Digital Age

Technology is rapidly advancing and it is the responsibility of every successful company to adapt as necessary or lose business to those who do. Consider how email has changed how we communicate-- we have the ability to relay complex thoughts and commands faster than ever before. What use then is email if the postal service is used instead?

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 Papa Murphy’s has successfully integrated both new technology and practices utilizing Salesforce cloud services resulting in highly efficient, unified management systems. Using this technology, they have successfully stayed consistent in the face of impressive growth over a short period of time. Since the implementation of the Salesforce infrastructure in 2014, Papa Murphy’s has experienced a 30% growth in total revenue.

Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google’s G Suite have made cloud based applications readily available both commercially and privately. The resulting increase in productivity and convenience is hard to quantify, however the sheer popularity of these services speak for themselves. In 2016 Microsoft reported to have had 60 million monthly, active subscribers to Office 365. These cloud-based applications are the natural progression of applications that have already seen widespread use offline. The ability to almost instantaneously share and edit in a modern office application is a very powerful tool for any business. Those not utilizing these tools then risks becoming isolated, stagnant and noncompetitive. The technology is powerful, but if not properly utilized, is only marginally more useful than software available twenty years prior.

In 2000, Reed Hastings, founder of Netflix, proposed a partnership to Blockbuster CEO John Antioco wherein Netflix would run Blockbuster’s brand online and in return Blockbuster would promote Netflix in its stores. Antioco would refuse this proposal. Netflix synchronized innovative business practices with previously underutilized or underapplied technologies to grab large quantities of the market. They quickly became Blockbuster’s main competitor. It soon became clear that Blockbuster’s response to Netflix was too little, too late and their entrenched business practices, caused by a lack of competition and a trend of growth, was no longer sufficient. Many factors played into the bankruptcy of Blockbuster, but ultimately it was their inability to adapt, not to the technologies, but to the disruptive new practices that dominated the market.

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We will encounter stark innovation that challenges us. It is important to remember that technology, as a singular entity, is useless if we do not embrace it and we must adapt to the demands it may have on our endeavors. If we do not then surely others will.