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Leverage Technology for Innovation During Crises: Then and Now

A crisis is something that will happen to everyone at least once in their lifetime. As we have seen with wars, famine, plagues, and financial collapse, crises are very hard to predict and even harder to prepare for.


However, the presence of a crisis does not mean you should abandon all hope and leave your business to die. In fact, you can easily leverage a crisis to turn your dream into a reality and create something incredible. As we will see, past companies grew during a time of crisis in a way that can inspire us all to learn and grow right now.


Making the Most Out of a Crisis

The times we live in now are something that will be looked back on as one of the most important times in human history. An international epidemic, civil unrest across the world, and global warming starting to show what it is capable of are just the tip of the iceberg of our current crises.


While many people use these crises as excuses to shelter themselves and not be productive, those who are going to change the world embrace the crisis. As a recent example, let’s see just a few names that claimed their fame after the 2008 financial crash.




The Past

A mortgage crisis that turned into a full-scale financial crisis happened just 12 years ago and is still fresh in the minds of many. However, those times of a broken market and country that didn’t know what to do with itself allowed the persistent and driven to emerge victoriously.


If you’ve had to manage a team, get a ride, or send someone money, then the names Slack, Uber, and Venmo are probably familiar to you. These billion-dollar companies were not founded by large tech firms but by ambitious people who used the 2008 financial crisis [1] to their advantage.


The Present

While our current global pandemic and related issues are not the same as a financial crash, many of the same mindsets and ideas still apply. As the world market was brought to a halt and businesses started failing left and right, the time to embrace the crisis is now.


As we leave the past behind us and learn from it, we can see a brighter future that is coming to be through the advent of new technologies that can help new businesses reach the top. For example, Walmart recently started using HANA, SAP’s cloud platform, to control its back-office costs and help manage its massive transaction volume through automatically identifying variances [2]. Other businesses, such as MasterCard, Univision, and eBay, are utilizing AI in their business dashboards through Domo to bring more visibility to their data creating more focused marketing campaigns.


The Future

Looking to the future, one new technology stands above the rest in terms of its potential impact on the world: Artificial Intelligence. No, we’re not talking about the evil robots that take over the world in movies but the learning software that helps businesses fill in cracks that they didn’t even know were there. AI is revolutionizing a wide range of industries improving operational efficiencies throughout organizations, primarily in the area of supply chain and business intelligence. Blockchain technology has also been revolutionizing supply chain management [3] as seen through the IBM Food Trust. They recently partnered with Walmart to trace fresh produce and other expiable food products allowing every step of distribution to be tracked. This enables Walmart to identify expired products immediately, determine why the product became expired prior to selling it, then make adjustments based on those insights.

Blockchain-empowered Supply Chain. Source [3]


Innovations in AI, blockchain, and the emergence of technology in business are all helping small businesses compete in the world market. These new technologies will impact just about every facet of our current business environment. When you embrace these technologies now, you can see a whole new market and set yourself up for the brightest future possible.


References:

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/hollieslade/2014/01/22/20-amazing-companies-founded-during-the-financial-crisis/#3e00eb697377


[2] https://emerj.com/ai-sector-overviews/ai-in-business-intelligence-applications/


[3] https://hbr.org/2020/05/building-a-transparent-supply-chain



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