Companies who want to weather disruption – and create disruption through innovation – understand that technology investments are key. By strategically adding to your tech suite, you can gain a competitive edge...or edge out the competition entirely.

Businesses who value this tech-fuelled growth model are known as "technology vanguards," according to Deloitte’s most recent Global Technology Leadership study. But the market-leading organisations that fit this bill are a relatively small group. Less than 12% have a well-defined vision and strategy, as well as the technology function maturity needed to qualify.

Less than 12% of companies have a well-defined vision and strategy, as well as the technology function maturity needed to qualify.

Another characteristic that sets them apart? They aren’t afraid to spend on tools that make them more agile. Specifically, “When other organisations are focused on lowering costs and reducing budgets, vanguards’ orientation toward growth and innovation drives them to continue to make more future-focused technology investments.”

Here’s a look at what other returns you can expect from future-focused tech investments, regardless of whether you consider yourself a vanguard.


Improved employee efficiency + happiness

Technology and process improvements often go hand in hand. With the rise of automation, you can help employees perform at their peak by allowing them to focus on high-level tasks and less on repetitive to-dos.

Simple investments from email and calendar management systems to reliable video conferencing solutions can significantly increase the swiftness with which your staff can get through their work day.

The right technology investments also buffer employees from becoming isolated in an increasingly remote-first workforce. For instance, could supplementing their WFH supplies with something as simple as a better camera, noise cancelling headphones or ergonomic chair help them stay more connected to and engaged with their team?

Studies show happy employees are more productive, creative, focused and collaborative.

Making these small changes is a direct investment into employee well-being, which also happens to be a huge driver of your profitability. Studies show happy employees are more productive, creative, focused and collaborative. That typically translates to higher sales and less turnover across the board.


High adaptation in a constantly changing world

Last year clearly showed us how tenuous the line is between crucial and irrelevant. And while no business can predict the unknown, simply investing in technologies that make it easier to adapt to it can make all the difference.

According to experts Martin Reeves and Mike Deimler, “Companies that gain a competitive advantage are no longer good at doing just one thing. Instead, the companies that are leaping out in front and staying ahead of their competition are those that learn to adapt to new advancements as well as innovate to stay ahead of the competition.”

The businesses who can rapidly adapt to rapid and inevitable change know they must stay educated on and open to shifts in the global marketplace. Alternatively, resistance to advancing technologies can put companies so far behind they’ll never catch up.


Analytics that yield optimal value

Take it from Deloitte: "Analytics capabilities are being used to help companies optimise people, processes and technology. From staffing to inventory to raw materials, analytics can give companies visibility into their precious resources and help ensure that those resources deliver optimal value."

What’s more, the opportunities to increase your bottom line with analytics are limitless. With key insights into virtually every department, organisations can get granular about ways to maximise sales and transform their products and services. Many are even using this data to better tailor their offerings and command higher price points, all while clearly communicating their value through more focused marketing strategies.

To prepare for the shifting economic and geopolitical forces that are impacting the way we work, businesses must figure out how and when to incorporate new tech – and invest accordingly.