Certain game-changing events are as rarely seen as a black swan. Black swan events can be disruptive or creative, and they can happen to every Midwest industry.
Black swan events are extreme outliers. Rare as they are, they have vastly greater impact than regular occurrences. These large magnitude events include the rise of the personal computer and creation of the Internet.
Whether your business is selling baked goods or supplying parts to a global company, how you use technology to improve your company is an indicator of the future of your business — or if it even has a future.
Technology is naturally disruptive and generates more than its share of unpredicted black swan events. Smart-tech professionals are aware of this.
In 1995, only a few years before the creation of Google, Bill Gates said that large competitors didn’t worry him as much as small groups working on something completely new. Google’s market capitalization surpassed Microsoft’s in 2012.
“Small business people need to keep an eye out for these millennials working out of basements and garages,” ACD CEO Kevin Schoen said.
Aggressive small and medium-sized companies are using disruptive tech to compete with larger companies and gain an advantage over current competition. This disruptive tech includes:
- Internet Desk Phones (VoIP) integrating employee’s emails and cell phones
- HD Cameras used to monitor employee consumption, performance and efficiency
- Fiber Broadband enabling the use of more electronic technologies, reducing cost and increasing revenue growth
- Analytics to collect data on customers and learn more about their interests and behaviors
ACD has cutting-edge technological products that are being used in various innovative ways across several industries. Their line of VoIP phones, HD security cameras and gigabit fiber can increase businesses’ productivity.
Cameras are being used for quality control. VoIP phones allow work offices to become placeless. Fiber broadband lets your business easily scale up, creating new possibilities for how companies function.
“We are living in a time when small businesses can have the same technological advantage as a global corporation,” Schoen said.
A case in point is the technological savvy of DBI Office Interiors of Lansing. DBI uses the Internet for connecting every aspect of its business, from sales to design, build and customer follow-up. Their fiber optic network is involved from the moment a sale is made to the moment it’s delivered.
The next black swan to appear on the technological horizon is the much-talked-about, exponentially growing Internet of Things. According to Forbes Leadership’s Jacob Morgan, broadband Internet is becoming more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them, technology costs are going down, and smartphone penetration is sky-rocketing.
All of these trends, Morgan writes, are generating a “perfect storm” for the Internet of Things — as many as 100 billion devices, from pacemakers to coffee makers to jet engines to thermostats, connected to the Internet and to each other within 10 years. Sensors on highway bridges will communicate with the computer in your car and slow it down accordingly. Doctors will monitor patients and advertisers will track buyer behavior in real time. Vast networks of interlinked sensors and actuators have the potential to manage a variety of complex tasks, from reducing energy use to fighting heart disease to directing traffic.
Rapid advances in networking technology, increasing standardization of protocols and the rise of cloud computing will make the Internet of Things a major catalyst of disruption and opportunity, and a major engine for creating new products and services, in the near future.
The technologies that drive these trends are the future of business, and if your company doesn’t keep up it could be in danger of being swallowed up by the next black swan that flies out of some inventor’s garage.