Prepare, Participate, Profit: Evolution of Business in the Digital Age

Are you ready for Shifting Mindsets? The strategic mindset has shifted during 2010 from operational efficiency and cost reduction to include emphasis on growth, customers and innovation. So today, what really matters in business and technology?

By Jim Fuller and Richard Coberly

Are you ready for Shifting Mindsets? The strategic mindset has shifted during 2010 from operational efficiency and cost reduction to include emphasis on growth, customers and innovation. So today, what really matters in business and technology?

Did you know:
• It took Facebook only two years to reach 50 million users.

  • 38 years for radio, 13 years for TV, 4 years for Internet and 3 years for IPod.
  • 60 million updates happen on Facebook daily.
  • If Facebook were a country it would be the 3rd largest in the world with over 500 million users.
• YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
  • More video is uploaded to YouTube in 2 months than all the networks could have aired since 1948.
• Today there are almost a billion mobile internet devices.
  • WI-FI Computers, Smart phones, Kindles, IPads.
  • The computer in your cell phone is 1,000,000 times cheaper and 100,000 times smaller and 1,000 times more powerful than one computer at MIT in 1965.
• Google has over 34,000 active searches per second.... Over a trillion per year.
  • 3,200 per second on Yahoo - 100 billion per year, 927 per second on Bing - 29 billion per year.
• The top 10 in-demand jobs of 2010 didn't even exist in 2004.
  • We're now prepping kids for jobs that don't yet exist, using technologies that don't yet exist, in order to solve problems that we don't yet know are problems.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today's learner will have 10-14 jobs by age 38.
• The first commercial text message was sent in December 1992.
  • Today, the number of text messages exceeds the total population of the planet.
• New technical information doubles every two years.
  • Half of what a technical degree student learns in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.
  • One of the fastest fiber optic cables pushes 14 trillion bits per second on a single fiber.
What is Your Perspective?

Companies face a new set of challenges and opportunities to position themselves for success on today's smarter and increasingly connected planet. A survey of some 2,112 firms revealed that conversation today is about expanding business, gaining greater insight and connecting with customers. Security, customer relationship management and analytics/information management were cited as their "most critical IT priorities." Studies show a growing adoption for cloud computing, with two-thirds planning or currently deploying cloud-based technologies.

What is your business plan for internet, social media, social marketing, web optimization and marketing? These are not fads, they are not going to go away, and the internet is here to stay. It is the primary way business will be conducted within a few years. Just think, 45% of web visitors today acknowledged they were able to make a purchasing decision about a company or product based on information from the company's website. Yes, our business world is moving faster than many of us, so hang on because tomorrow it will be moving even faster.

Contractor of Today - Here's a real world example:

A contractor was on a job site in December 2011 and experienced a major problem. He and his foreman needed a solution and they were not familiar with the exact product or manufacturer. So, they took pictures illustrating the problems, listed what they wanted to accomplish, and bundled it all into a text and sent it to local distributor. The sales person coordinated material and manufacturer together, sent a picture back and together they selected needed products. The contractor continued working at the site until the needed material arrived, then corrected the issue. Problem solved, all in the amount of time it would have taken them to shut down the job, drive to a local distributor and discuss what was needed. Down time almost zero.

Trying to keep up is a difficult task. Just hanging in is a challenge. The more our business segment embraces these changes and challenges, the better we will be able to meet the needs of this new group of "informed" customers.

What does it all mean?

  • We live in an exponential world.
  • We no longer search for the news, news finds us.
  • We will no longer have to search for products and services; they find us via social media.
  • The mobile device will be the world's primary connection tool to the internet in 2020.
  • By 2049 it is predicted that a $1,000 computer will exceed the computational capabilities of the entire human species.
  • Out of almost 7 Billion people over 2 billion use or have internet connection. That is 28.7% of total global population which is a 400% increase since 2000.
In today's world we must be prepared for quick changes and participate by implementing new strategies to profit from them, no matter which sector you operate in. These topics and many more that create better customer care are the focus of WASDA. As a group of distributors and manufacturers we all are working together, "Making Water Fit for Life."


About the Authors: Jim Fuller of Coburn Supply Co. is WASDA Treasurer and Marketing Committee Chair. Richard Coberly is founding partner of Windward Media, a Houston based graphics, commercial photography, and television production company.

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