Why You Don’t Need to Future Proof Your Business

(and what you should do instead)

Bitcoin.

Blockchain.

Netflix.

The cloud.

The world is evolving, and it’s not just because of the pandemic. Increasingly, the internet is seeping into every aspect of life and society, and the implications for business are enormous.

Could people thirty years ago have imagined the world of today? Probably not. Even ten years ago, the shape of society now would have been unfathomable.

This is not because we have entered some advanced science fiction realm. Instead, it is because the rate of change is enough to give the previous generation whiplash.

Think about this: when Kane Tanaka was born – the oldest living woman today – Japan was mid-way through its industrialisation. Tanaka’s parents would have remembered the rule of the Samurai. But by the middle of her life, Tanaka could have taken a bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. Today, Japan is arguably the epicentre of the integration of life with technology.

Compare Kane Tanaka to someone born in the 1300s. A whole lifetime would have passed without even a fraction of the change experienced by Tanaka.

What does this show? Primarily, it shows that the biggest impact that technology has had on society is to speed up the rate of change.  

In light of this incredible rate of change, the term future proofing has emerged. On the surface level, it sounds like a perfectly acceptable goal. And it now goes without saying that the best businesses need the best business internet services in light of this rate of change. 

But in a tech-saturated, post-pandemic world, future proofing should not be the goal.

Why?

  1.   Future proofing sees change as a threat, rather than welcoming it as an opportunity. Think of fire proofing, or storm proofing. In each of these phrases, whatever is being proofed against is seen as an enemy, something that could incinerate or tear down what you have built. 

 

  1.   Future proofing implies that you know what tomorrow will bring, rather than embracing change with openness and flexibility. In 1943, the head of IBM Thomas Watson allegedly said, ‘I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.’ Of course, Watson was incorrect. Nonetheless, IBM is still one of the largest computer manufacturers in the world. How could a CEO be so wrong, and yet a company still grow so spectacularly? Clearly it is because IBM was not trying to protect itself from imagined events, but rather it welcomed the changes and the opportunities they brought.
  2.   Future proofing forgets that the best services grow with you. In the past, there was always a concern that if you didn’t ‘future proof’, then you would soon end up with redundant technology, insufficient storage, and inadequate connection speed. As business internet services shift away from copper-cable connection and onto the cloud, this is no longer a significant problem.

So, if future proofing is not the goal, what should be?

The goal should be future welcoming. To avoid going the way of the horse and cart, a business should not simply play defence. The future is not an inferno that wants to incinerate your hard work. Instead, it is a forge that will strengthen and purify your business.

The real world and the online world are becoming so enmeshed that it can sometimes be difficult to notice where one begins and the other ends. This means that you shouldn’t tolerate business internet services that are merely ‘good enough’. Instead, you need services that will help you to welcome and embrace the opportunities of the future by:

  •       Enhancing cloud-based communication
  •       Securing your digital assets
  •       Leveraging new technology to reach new markets
  •       Integrating a range of apps to make operating your business seamless and efficient
  •       Laying a foundation that encourages further innovation

We can help. Organise a time to discuss today.

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