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Harnessing It's Competitive Advantages:The Software Revolution






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"Only those managers who master the digital universe will gain a competitive edge in business". - Bill Gates

Today the uses of software are limitless and the software industry is one of the largest in the United States. Software is used to guide missiles across continents or, by, placing a chip in a newborn infant's hospital I.D. bracelet, to ensure that, when the baby is picked up, if it is taken out of the hospital nursery by an unauthorized person, the hospital elevators will shut down and the doors will lock. Baby will be safe, thanks to technology. And you can help keep your business safe from competition by using the array of technology available to you to gain a competitive advantage.

Since the emergence of the Internet as a commercial force, the evolution of software has accelerated, its uses have proliferated and become more visible to us. Software has moved beyond leveraging the power on an individual or a company or facilitating a company's internal communications through intranets or with the public through a website.

Now, software can help manage whole departments, such as human resources and recruiting. Technology can be used to launch commerce platforms and manage customer service. It can serve as the primary creator of a value chain which can impact an entire industry.

Just as, in the past, Walmart's automated inventory system hammered down prices and created a new standard, so, too did's personalization technology, which created an entire interactive experience revolving around enhancing a user's total experience in purchasing a book. Now, entire industries are being impacted by exchanges of buyers and sellers or suppliers on the Net.

To be competitive today, a business will soon have to incorporate all of the following capabilities:

Information Consolidation software, to keep tract of customer demographics and preferences.

Analysis and segmentation software to leverage this information and deploy it to increase business advantage.

Personalization software so the experience becomes a one to one interaction with the customer

Broadcast ability to deliver nformation and offers to every customer.

Transaction software to facilitate the information interactions or commerce transactions between users or between the user and the company

In addition to these, one will need to use software specific to your own industry, whether it is publishing content, mining databases, or producing websites, to complete the technological platform which will offer unquestioned value to your users.

The companies which use software to increase their user's capabilities, productivity and profitability, and do so in a personalized way which takes into account the user's preferences will be able to build a successful business and, in many cases, overtake entrenched competitors who are not completely awake to the infinite reach and power of a fully networked world.

It is well to remember,however, that, it is not only software and the Internet which have produced these dramatic effects on the way people live and work. One of the key real drivers behind the increased sophistication of software and technology offerings is the vision, energy and persistence of the entrepreneurs behind these new high tech companies and the family, angels or VCs who take the bold leap to finance them.

So, despite the short term whims of the market, the entrepreneurs and tech wizards who've created new software have offered up a vision which has become our reality, a constantly changing landscape of new enabling and empowering devices, tools, resources for management, exchange and information. And the future has only just begun.

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