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Why Continuous Improvement Is the Key to Growing as a Business

Author: Eric Russo | | December 5, 2017

A “set it and forget it” approach is tempting when you have so many things to worry about as a modern business. You have to compete in the global market, worry about startup disruptors coming out of nowhere and keep up with bringing new products to market. The market can change overnight, and if you don’t frequently revisit your processes, products, applications and decisions, you won’t find yourself growing as a business.

Why It’s Time to Embrace Continuous Improvement

Trying to continually improve your organization may have proved difficult before big data solutions and data analytics software were widely available. Pulling together reports took days, weeks or even months, and business opportunities passed by before you could do anything about them.

Today’s technology landscape gives you the opportunity to get your hands on critical information in real-time. You can immediately see how well your marketing campaigns perform, whether your databases have heavy loads from new customers and the state of your supply chain.

When you have this much data available, with countless report types, continuous improvement makes perfect sense. You can make data-driven decisions with recent information, giving you the opportunity to react in the moment. Your organization ends up in a powerful position when you embrace this improvement strategy.

The Benefits of Continuous Improvement

Greater agility is the first benefit you’ll run into after you implement this strategy. Everything gets faster due to the shorter turnaround time. As soon as you put a change in place, you can start tracking data on it. Rather than wasting months on an initiative that doesn’t work the way you expect, you can pull the plug within a few days or even hours.

The projects with excellent performance get more resources allocated to them, allowing you to generate greater growth for your company. Fast feedback will enable you to conduct trial-and-error tests consisting of small changes. Optimizing all areas of your organization become much easier since you can try many ideas one at a time, rather than making sweeping changes and hoping for the best.

The modern consumer has much different needs these days compared to a decade ago. How much will they change over the next five to 10 years? You can proactively get ahead of these customer shifts and be prepared to meet your audience’s expectations.

What Do You Need to Achieve a Continuous Improvement Approach

One of the biggest things standing in your way to continuous improvement is your infrastructure and applications. Do you use modernized apps and platforms for your operations, or are you relying on legacy software?

You need solutions that support big data analytics, real-time reporting and other modern features that are considered commonplace these days. Start your implementation of this plan by taking stock of your organization’s technology landscape.

Identify the systems that lack the necessary modernization to allow you to quickly test new ideas and react to market changes. You may need to bring your back-office apps up to date, redesign your customer-facing experience or upgrade your SQL databases.

Shifting into a continuous improvement mindset takes a lot of work, but it allows you to future-proof your organization. You might not be able to predict everything that’s coming your way in the market, but with the right tools on hand, you can quickly adapt and thrive in any environment.

Learn more about modernizing your applications and embracing continuous improvement in our latest white paper, “How and Why You Should Think Like a Software Company.”

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