The future of business is real-time. Customers don’t want to wait for answers. Executives don’t want to wait for data. No one wants 24-hour turnaround anymore. Everyone wants everything instantly, right now.
Who can blame them? The business world has been trending towards real-time for a few years now. Technology that makes every aspect of your business operate in real-time has existed for some time now. Those that have fallen behind the real-time technology curve will stand out like a sore thumb in the coming years.
What exactly do I mean? Here’s a little test: When your executives want business data or reports, how long does it take to get them? If it’s anything less than “at the push of a button”, you have some work to do. If you still ask customers to fax applications to you instead of letting them fill out online web applications, you have some work to do.
Real-time isn’t the only business trend we will see in the future. This interesting article on openforum.com lists “5 trends that will shape small business in 2010”. It’s a good read, and I personally think it applies to more than just small businesses.