Harnessing technology to add value to products and services


Start-ups and new companies can learn a lot about how to succeed in business by studying how other start-ups have gone about doing business and made a success of it. There are many new companies which have changed the market, not by launching new products or services but by innovating on existing products and services and offering consumers an added advantage. In the process they have also grown and benefited.

Let us look at one of these new enterprises to understand this a bit better. Uber, a transportation company that started some 7 years ago in San Francisco has spread to over 60 countries and more than 400 cities worldwide. The company markets and operates the Uber mobile app through which people request a cab which is then routed to Uber drivers who use their own cars as cabs. So any person with a smart-phone, anywhere can order a cab.

Technology to achieve business success

The success of Uber has shown how technology can be harnessed to achieve business success. Other nascent enterprises can learn a trick or two from the Uber way of running a business.

Studies and statistics in the USA have shown that Uber drivers worked less and had a higher income than conventional cabbies. By using technology the company has cut down on its costs and has enabled the drivers to earn more with consumers getting the benefit of a more pleasing travel experience. Other start-ups could follow the Uber example and use technology to improve what is already available in the market and offer consumers a value-added product or service.

Uber does not own any cars. The actual ride is outsourced to a large pool of independent drivers. With this model, the company does not need to hire full-time employees. Many companies these days have cut down on personnel and shifted to outsourcing  work  or using people on short term contractual basis and do not take on full-time employees. This has reduced overhead costs significantly.

Cutting down overheads

Most new start-ups would prefer to hire freelancers or part-time employees, like Uber has done, to cut down on overheads. This is expected to encourage more people to take on freelancing or part-time jobs as new companies are likely to outsource work rather than take on the responsibility of hiring full-time employees.

Technology is expected to transform the face of business in the near future and new companies / start-ups are likely to be more technology driven than the older organizations. The Uber example has proved the efficacy of using technology.

Processes being automated

Businesses – both existing and new- will use technology more and more in the coming years with a lot of the processes being automated and hence faster and probably cheaper to operate. Companies actually need to do very little after the system is set up. Ordering or providing / servicing gets done by the users and the freelancers – thus making it a more efficient model than what has existed so far.

Uber’s business model showcases the advantage of using technology to benefit the creator, the provider and the user. This model benefits not just new,   growing companies and start-ups but can be used to alter the modus operandi of existing businesses too.