Technology's Super Powers

How innovation positions your company for growth.
JULY, 2019

Technology transforms a business.

I've seen it over and over again. It streamlines your operations, opens up new revenue streams and makes work easier. In doing all of that, it also allows you to think bigger about where your business can go.

Take Boardroom Insiders, for example. The company's founders came to us last year looking to shore up their core piece of technology, a digital platform that gives sales and marketing teams access to in-depth profiles on Fortune 500 executives across the country. It's like a library of insight into the top players at the world's biggest companies.

At the time, the entire Boardroom Insiders business had been built around that one product, so it was essential that product performed, consistently and exceptionally, for a superior customer experience. So we rebuilt the platform, and when the company no longer had to spend hours worrying about brittle and broken technology, the founders suddenly had the time and brain power to do even more.

We're now working with the company on the launch of a second product, one that will transform Boardroom Insiders from a one-trick-pony to a robust business that offers multiple innovative solutions for sales and marketing teams looking to target the C-suite. It diversifies the company's core product offering and positions it for scale. It's a really good idea, and it might not have happened if the company hadn't made a bigger commitment to embrace innovation.

With a situation like that as an end result, it's hard to imagine any company resisting digital transformation. And yet it happens — all the time.
McKinsey, the global consulting firm, found that industries are, on average, less than 40% digitized.
And yet the data consistently shows that companies are more successful when they adopt a more tech-forward approach. Among the companies in the survey who ranked in the top quarter in revenue growth, EBIT growth and return on digital investment, 49% are investing in digital more than their counterparts do, McKinsey found. Among the companies who are lagging behind the competition, just 5% are investing more in technology than their counterparts. McKinsey summed the findings up in a single statement: "When companies respond to digitization assertively and across multiple dimensions, they improve their performance."

It really is as simple as that.

Boardroom Insiders isn't the only example. Bella Tunno, the company my wife founded a decade ago, recently upgraded its e-commerce platform to Shopify and order, inventory, and financial management to NetSuite. The move stabilized the back-end of the business and turned on a lightbulb of creativity across the team. Without the burden of cumbersome technology, they could suddenly see new possibilities.

McKinsey, too, highlights a handful of examples, such as the fintech industry. Although a disruptor itself, fintech isn't above a digital transformation of its own. And as companies in this sector have begun to embrace all the ways technology could improve the financial world, they are discovering new opportunities beyond payment applications, lending and money transfers. Fintech has now crossed dipped into more than 30 different areas such as wealth management, corporate and investment banking, and insurance.

"The shift brings fintechs away from a focus on frontline activities to a broad engagement throughout the value chain," McKinsey writes.

And chances are, where you're providing value, you're making money.

All of this potential can be hard to see at the start of technological transformation. The beginning is when you're looking at a sizable investment of money and time. You're talking about putting your business through a sea change and the challenge of getting your entire team on board for the ride. It won't be easy.

But it will be worth it. Take it from Sharon Gillenwater, the co-founder & CEO of Boardroom Insiders.

"We're creating the first new product we've created since we started the business. It's going to be game-changing," she said. "And it's been hugely advantageous that we replatformed the site because it's going to get there much faster and cheaper than if we'd built it on top of our old site."

A foundation built on powerful, functional technology positions your company for growth — period. Isn't that what every company wants?

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