Originally published on Forbes.com
By Craig Rock, President & CEO, Forbes Technology Council Member

When it comes to technology, one thing you can count on is that nothing is going to stay the same. Technology answers all the demands of today’s constantly evolving fast-paced society in rapid-fire response, which means it is constantly evolving as well. As CEO of a strategic solutions provider, we’ve learned to use a specific strategy to provide technological solutions.

Factors Of Change

One of the major factors of change in the industry is data and how it is being used today. As databases continue to grow, technology companies that provide solutions have to be prepared to offer new answers to developing questions based on new technology. For example, as databases grew across enterprises, it meant a shift in the way companies were doing business. We’re now able to look at ways to extract data to inform and help direct the business. Specific analytics for data now allows businesses to begin predicting the way it is being used so companies can be proactive versus continuing to react to a situation once it arises. This allows companies to be predictive, prescriptive and cognitive.

Constant evolution impacts technology significantly in many ways, and cloud technology was adopted quickly behind the scenes. Amazon is a prime example; most people hadn’t even heard of Amazon Cloud until long after the company had been the No. 1 cloud provider for quite some time. They began to learn of this as technology shifted, and it exponentially grew to meet that need. The ability to start or shift to a subscription-based model leveraging a virtual environment available at any time quickly became the new normal for companies and organizations that weren’t burdened with major processing hardware.

Have A Plan

When it comes to shifting technology, businesses have to evolve to meet clients’ ever-changing needs. Use a multistep process to determine which new services you will develop and deploy. First, look at the business and ask how the new service would fit into the company’s existing portfolio of offerings with current customers. Meeting with vendors and suppliers can be helpful to determine what knowledge base the company will need to develop and what investments to make. Finally, take a look at the competitive landscape to determine the company’s field of play within what is already being offered and how the company can offer a new perspective.

In one instance, when we moved to analytics, we first had to establish what all the analytic plays were (MDM, PIM, etc.). Then we created a chart to view all available products and service offerings. We then had to evaluate and ask ourselves a number of questions, such as “Who plays in all these spaces?” “Where do we want to play?” “What makes the most sense for our pricing and competitiveness?” These are all important questions to ask within your own company as you evolve along with technology.

Once we have developed a new service, there are more factors still in determining when and how the new product will be delivered. We consider multiple variables for each new individual service, including labor resources, marketing content creation, identifying solution sets, establishing a go-to-market plan and more. After careful consideration and execution of each of these factors, we can then determine a timeline for new product and service rollout.

Be Flexible

As society and technology continue to change, flexibility can only work in your favor. Technology is ever-changing, so you have to be willing and able to change with the times and needs of your clients. We certainly aren’t doing things the way we were three years ago. It’s important to keep track of how quickly everything evolves and then keep up with those changes, speeds and capacities.

The opportunity for the future is amazing, and since technology is the driving force behind just about everything in today’s world regardless of industry, it is essential to success. Support, service and manufacturing of a product all have to do with technology, and that won’t change. The rate at which technology improves grows and grows; what used to take hours now takes seconds. It’s incredible to think things will only continue to improve moving forward. While it can be staggering how much technology growth and evolution affects the world, it’s pretty cool to have the opportunity to witness it all.