Adapt to survive: why your business needs to evolve

Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution explains that organisms equipped with characteristics best suited to their environment are most likely to survive. The same reasoning applies to businesses.

Adapted to the business world, Darwin’s theory of evolution makes clear the need to embrace technological change. Organisations not equipped with suitable technological attributes face extinction.

In the evolving landscape ruled by Generations Y and Z, ‘digital dinosaur’ companies will struggle to compete. Here, we explain why you need to adapt to survive.

Clinging to old ways

Did you know that in 2017, 2 million UK SMEs didn’t have a website? When you consider the technological revolution that has eradicated the phone book and seen The Independent scrap its print edition, it’s concerning that such a high number of businesses have no online presence.

That’s even before we take a deeper look beyond websites. With so many SMEs lacking even a website, how many organisations are (or aren’t) using the latest technological advances to stay competitive?

Maintaining the personal touch in today’s climate is still vital. However, clinging to out-dated techniques when it comes to managing human resources, marketing, sales and client relations is dangerous.

First is the blatant potential to hamper the growth of your customer base. Beyond the obvious, though, failing to adapt can also create problems when it comes to hiring and keeping the best candidates.

It’s a millennial market

There are no two ways about it, Generation Y is taking over. Youngsters born between 1980 and 1995 aren’t all that young anymore. This means they are not only at the very heart of the customer pool, they also account for the most mobile and ambitious portion of the workforce.

Having grown up with modern technology, this generation is tech-savvy. They’re at ease with quick and efficient procedures driven by email, social networks and databases.

As a result, millennial employees adapt easily to new technologies. Companies that fail to take on modern tools to streamline processes will struggle to recruit and hold on to Generation Y staff.

Plus, the age group is ambitious. Research has shown that, unlike the Baby Boomers before them, they don’t consider themselves ‘lifers’. This means that they are comfortable moving to new employment if they feel their needs aren’t being met, or that there’s limited growth opportunity.

A different working world

Millennials also have a different view on their work/life balance than previous generations. Namely, they prefer flexible work schedules so they can prioritise personal lives. This shift is driving the move towards a mobile workforce.

A flexible working model, then, is increasingly inevitable. And being able to support it means embracing technology such as cloud-based services and business process automation.

Successfully selling to people in the Generation Y bracket also relies on a strong online presence and accessible customer service. (I.e. support that can be accessed online via a variety of channels.)

Businesses that shy away from innovation run the risk of missing out on building lasting relationships with their core market. In other words, they limit their own growth.

Waiting in the wings

Hot on the heels of millennials is Generation Z. A survey by Millennial Branding offers some interesting conclusions about the new kids on the block. Like Generation Y, this group is looking to work for employers that have a strong vision. They prioritise businesses offering opportunities for growth.

However, the survey found that the next wave of employees is more entrepreneurially minded than millennials. (Perhaps inspired by watching the success of young entrepreneurs as they grew up.)

So, it won’t be long until there is strong competition from young organisations that are whole-heartedly embracing new technology. This makes it more important to adapt to survive – starting now.

Creating meaning

Gen Zers are commonly depicted as tech-addicted zombies. Supposedly, they’re glued to five devices at once. However, the same survey from Millennial Branding found that 51% of those asked prefer in-person contact with managers and co-workers.

So, this suggests that Gen Z employees will become dissatisfied in a working environment not advanced enough to free up time for more meaningful communications.

This is where organisations that have embraced automation software will excel. It automates time-consuming and routine tasks. Think things like file management, email processing, data entry, and updating CRM systems.

This then allows employees to engage more fully with their role, their colleagues and their customers. Altogether, this creates an environment where both staff and customers are satisfied. So, your business can thrive.

Adapt to survive

Charles Darwin explains it best, saying, “It is not the strongest species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

With both the current and future generations consisting of highly adaptable individuals, the businesses that will stand the test of time are those that adapt to survive.

Namely, by evolving with them and embracing new technology.

Note: We originally published this article here: