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For a business or organization, cost-effective solutions to current and future problems is a primary goal of many internal leaders.
Of course, this is not limited to having less scrap as a manufacturing company or offering fewer refunds to dissatisfied customers as a retailer. Much of what cost savings has to do with these days is found in processing power, bandwidth, and storage — the Three Digital Accelerators that I have identified as the cause for accelerated digital disruption since the eighties.
Yes, cost savings by way of using an Anticipatory Mindset to get in front of disruption is certainly a prominent factor as a business or organization. However, the other side of the coin here is in understanding how to effectively implement digital disruption to leverage it in low-cost ways.
I have previously highlighted in recent blogs the fast-moving nature of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in nearly all areas of business. These are Hard Trend future certainties that by no measure are slowing down.
And as my Anticipatory Organization® Learning System teaches many business leaders, C-suite executives, and managers alike: thinking exponentially about any digitally disruptive factors within and outside of your industry and how to implement them specifically at your business or organization is a must.
So, if those implementations are a must, what does that mean for business expenses? After all, the price of hiring a team to create something that automates an ordinarily mundane process at your business or organization comes with many factors.
To answer any preconceived notions about the concept of implementing AI or ML at your business or organization: Yes, new software, hardware, the training on how to utilize it, or even the potential of creating it internally can be costly. Yet you must always imagine the cost of being disrupted as well.
For example, there have been recent discussions around pharmacies in the healthcare industry implementing intelligent software and machines that can more easily refill and distribute medication to customers. A local pharmacist with a small operation may fear how much spending on an autonomous system may cost them up front to implement.
But the long-term cost of resting on their laurels for fear of the cost of change will be more costly, as the pharmacies that do incorporate AI and ML are adapting in proactive, Anticipatory ways to both adjust their business procedures and workforce in a disruptive world.
Now, the cost of incorporating this equipment and software may be unattainable for a smaller business, as is likely evident in our example of a local pharmacy trying to keep up with the likes of Walgreens or pharmacies in Target.
But Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and quite frankly, Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) is here to save the day! In short, the concept of software, hardware, and many other offerings in the digital and physical world being offered “as a service” is no different than a homeowner renting a small backhoe from Home Depot to more quickly and efficiently dig a hole on their property.
SaaS, XaaS, and others are subscription-based models that provide easy, affordable access to many of the most common disruptive digital technologies rooted in those Three Digital Accelerators I previously mentioned in this blog. This includes, but is not limited to, cloud-based storage services, AI applications, predictive analysis, deep learning, and others.
Companies such as Amazon Web Services, the IBM Cloud, or the Google Cloud Platform are common examples of organizations that offer Software-as-a-Service and, in many cases, Everything-as-a-Service for many different industries.
For the small, local pharmacy, trying to outpace AI and ML with more workers putting in long hours doing mundane tasks or hoping digital disruption will just go away is a fruitless effort. Additionally, this legacy effort will ultimately cost more and likewise, potentially cost them their business.
Subscribing to SaaS or XaaS applications is to subscribe to the future success of your business or organization, no matter your size. It is also an investment in your current and future workforce, as change is the only constant in our world.
Future employees, managers, and more will be more and more well versed in what the current and past workforce may see as a digital disruption or an insurmountable issue. By embracing these services that save you time and money, and ultimately save on needing to be agile as a way to keep your head above water, you are demonstrating a united Futureview to current and future team members.
Likewise, your preparation to work with them in autonomous software and hardware demonstrates to them that their skills as human beings are still extremely valuable, helping them evolve with your efforts and with the times. In a way, this also prepares them for a future in the industry itself, making you a force of change as an organization.
Taking Anticipatory action by implementing SaaS and XaaS for the necessity of evolving your business or organization starts with Hard Trend future certainties. Look inside and outside of your industry at what is transforming in the realm of my Three Digital Accelerators, consider how they might impact your business operation specifically, and research if those transformations are offered as a service to be easily incorporated.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to accelerate innovation and results by develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Deloitte, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM. He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight, and his latest book The Anticipatory Organization. He is a featured writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of innovation, change and the future and has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Wired, CNBC, and Huffington Post to name a few. He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes. He has founded six businesses, four of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities. In 1983 he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. He also linked exponential computing advances to economic value creation. His specialties are technology-driven trends, strategic innovation, strategic advising and planning, business keynote presentations.
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