Betty Manetta

All the tech stats making headlines today paint a pretty clear picture. The business landscape is changing for everyone, and the digital economy is taking hold. Cities, buildings and homes are going to be smarter. Applications that impact our lives are becoming more integral — the Internet of Everything. The evolution is ultimately forming a mobile, connected world with a wealth of information and a multitude of transactions. Within this economy, information from any mobile or stationary device is secured, gathered, processed and analyzed. This information will not only be used to complete transactions, but also predict possible outcomes for those on the move. We will become a society geared toward completing and handling transactions while en route.

As a result, relationship lines will continue to blur, making more and more interactions virtual. Transactions not only will be initiated by the things we carry, but also by the things we wear, see and do. People and organizations will interact, but where they are and how the interactions are done will become less relevant. The economy will blend transport media, devices, networks and applications. And, as technologies converge, the organizations that set connectivity standards — Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, International Organization for Standardization, World Wide Web Consortium, etc. — will play a significant role in defining the technological integration road map. This integration includes an open source approach to the underlining hard road map infrastructure, topped with a layer of connections for essential services and systems. Finally, real smarts occur with the connectivity of people, things and applications.

What does this all mean to corporations, government agencies, organizations and minority-owned businesses? In particular, what does it mean to the technology and telecommunications industry as lines become blurred and responses quicken? Within this economy, all will need to possess “nimble-ocity” — the ability to move quickly and decisively at increased speeds. They will need to be proactive in response to fast-paced developments shaping the future. Here’s a sampling of a few things already moving us toward a more connected world:

  • Lifestyle monitoring from purchases, appliances, smartphones and social media.
  • Health monitoring from wearables.
  • Smart homes and buildings with environmental, safety and energy programming controls.
  • Connected cars with remote monitoring and controls.
  • Smart cities connecting to all things and people — traffic flow, emergency situations, lighting, cameras and security.
  • Robotics, drones and artificial intelligence.

Significant opportunities exist for companies who can help deliver innovative solutions, connectivity and “things.” The changes will play a pivotal role in digitizing everything, as well as ushering new virtual reality for entertainment, education, training, health care, etc. Technology and connectivity will impact decisions made in the supply chains, operations and product performances. From inventory, right-now delivery models and distributive/local sourcing models to virtualization and software-driven solutions, we will move faster and change more often to address the insatiable needs driven by the mobile economy.

My suggestion to all businesses — but especially minority-owned businesses hoping to diversify, grow and/or continue to impact — is never stop learning. Keep up and be immersed in emerging trends, technologies and opportunities. They will or do have an impact upon your industry — no matter what industry you are in.

Think about options like partnering, acquisition and hiring in areas that will help your business go to a new level or new verticals, and be ready for the future. Bottom line, it’s about pivoting. Consider transitioning out of the “old tried and true” for the opportunities of the future. Retool yourself and your associates to be able to look at new areas of opportunities. As things change, it is those who can change the quickest and most efficiently who will have the competitive advantage. Look at how things are done today and ask “Why?” or “Why not?” It may be your next line of business.

Most of all, do not give up. Keep utilizing your excellent talent and skills to help push growth not only within your organization, but also throughout the community you serve. Remember, be nimble. Be quick. Have nimble-ocity.

Betty Manetta is CEO of two award-winning tech-centric companies — Argent Associates Inc. and Asociar LLC. Argent is a systems integrator and technology innovator. It develops and delivers an ecosystem of solutions across a number of technologies and at various stages of the life cycle. Offerings include new product development, distribution of multivendor solutions, engineering, installation and optimization of technology systems and environmentally responsible end-of-life-cycle solutions. Asociar is an international technology system integration company that provides complete end-to-end supply-chain optimization services which include acquisition, integration, efficiencies and modernization solutions. These companies are helping others find where they fit and can ultimately excel in a connected world. “Enterprises have an opportunity to completely reinvent how they design and deliver experience,” Manetta said. “We are about empowering a connected world.”

By Betty Manetta