The commercial boss of a pioneering North West tech firm said businesses are missing out if they’re not embracing smart technology.
Internet-connected devices from smart lightbulbs and smart washing machines to virtual assistants have taken the consumer market by storm and given a rise to ‘connected homes’.
But according to Chris Sulej, commercial director at IT solutions firm Utopia Technology, smart tech should be seen by businesses as a way of gathering critical information from everyday operations.
Ahead of speaking at BusinessCloud’s Grow your business through smart tech event on 13th November, Sulej urged organisations not to get complacent.
“Bring yourselves into the 21st century, get your business automated and intelligent, use smart tech and your customers will thank you,” he said.
“The biggest misconception is that people assume they don’t need smart tech because they’re already operating efficiently, and their customers love them.
“What they don’t realise is that deploying smart tech helps them get faster, better and ahead of the competition.
“Business is all about being the first to market – no one remembers who came second. If you want to be number one, then you have to get smart and you have to use smart tech.”
Manchester-based Utopia works alongside partners including tech giant Huawei to help customers use smart tech to make data-driven decisions.
Sulej says technologies like AI and machine learning allow companies to make decisions that “they just wouldn’t otherwise be able to do”.
“What smart tech does is allow companies to monitor their operations and processes and react instantly,” he said.
“Historical data, by its sheer nature, is out of date. Numbers on a page just don’t cut it in today’s environment; it’s all about milliseconds and making critical decisions in real-time.
“If a manufacturing business suddenly starts to use more electricity or water then they want to understand why and immediately take action.”
Using smart technologies in the right way can also transform how a business communicates with its customers.
“If customers can interact with a business and gather information in a seamless way, then it improves the way they engage with you,” said Sulej.
Creative technologies firm Urban Zoo is currently developing a ‘single sign-on’ digital engagement platform, which Sulej says has the potential to transform how shoppers interact with shopping centres.
“You could connect to the network and be able to interact with every retailer in the centre,” said Sulej. “You could find out what’s going playing in the cinema, pre-order your meal at the food court or scan the barcode of an item and seamlessly connect to the retailer’s website to order it online.
“At the moment that experience is pretty poor because it’s not being used as an engagement platform.”
Sulej will be speaking at the event alongside Chris Hill, director of sales, Enterprise Business Group UK, Huawei; Landways CEO Chris Smedley; and Urban Zoo managing director Chris Grannell. The full speaker line-up has yet to be confirmed.
The event is FREE to attend but spaces are limited so please visit this page to book your place.
If you’d like to be considered as a speaker, email BusinessCloud editor [email protected]