Newer technology is not always better for business

In as much as we love to drive businesses (especially the brick and mortar ones) to adopt ‘cutting’ edge technologies as they emerge. There is a valid point in the fact that adopting latest technology just for “adopting sake” is silly. Newer technology is not always better for business

The newest technology offerings may be better than the old, but they may not necessarily be more efficient. The onus then is on business owners to seriously consider and weigh in options before deploying such technology into their own business.

When the television was invented back then, experts quickly predicted the demise of the radio. Today, FM Radio has a global reach of 4.2 billion, Traditional TV has a reach of 1.9 billion and TV keeps losing ground to on-demand media platforms like Youtube. So far, newer and better technologies including Personal Computer (1.4 billion), and even the Internet (2.5 billion) has not been able to eradicate the Radio. The Radio remains as relevant to marketing and advertising today as it was back in the days.

On December 3, 1992, the first ever SMS was sent. Since then SMS has become a major tool for communication, used heavily by individuals and businesses alike. Then the mobile-era started and apps like BBM, Whatsapp and 2go appeared on the scene. Once again the experts and pundits have started predicting the death of SMS, yet SMS is alive and well. SMS is still arguably the best way for businesses to connect to their customers. The data speaks for itself:

  • Trillions of SMS are sent every year
  • 97% of SMS messages sent are read
  • In the UK, 97% of SMS are read within 5 seconds
  • SMS response rate is 26%

Cocacola’s mobile advertising budget is broken down into:

  • 70% on mobile messaging
  • 20% on mobile web
  • 10% on mobile apps

Then you begin to wonder, in the developing world including places like Nigeria where data access is expensive and unreliable, why are so many talented programmers building cool Android and Blackberry Apps and ignoring SMS? They could easily build SMS Apps that has potentials of reaching more people.

So, while Whatsapp and BBM are newer, better technology, they are yet to prove their efficiency in achieving what we can achieve by harnessing in full the power of SMS. SMS has a global reach of 6.8 billion; all messaging apps in the world combined do not have this power. I know this as a fact because only one-third of the world population has access to the internet, and all these apps rely on the internet to function. (That is a problem Mark Zuckerberg is currently trying to solve)

Every business owner, business manager needs to learn that it is not about the technology; it boils down to one question: HOW DOES THIS TECHNOLOGY INCREASE MY PROFIT? If any technology is ever deployed for your business and it doesn’t contribute positively to the bottom line (MORE PROFIT), you are better off without such technology.

The role of technology has always been to simplify things and make things run better, but on the other hand, every now and then, some technology arrives that is just way ahead of its time. Such technology might be newer and better than the existing solutions, but it may not be efficient enough for a business day-to-day usage.

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Watching The World

 


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