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Stay current: why relevance and success go hand in hand in business

The sad truth is that maintaining pace in the business world just won't cut it

Developments are coming thick and fast and if you can’t keep abreast of these developments, your business could be the next to become extinct.

Cast your memory back 15 years. What type of mobile phone were you using, and what type of computer and camera? How did you watch movies? The chances are that your personal technology has evolved to match the developments within the market over the years – developments that have, and still are, moving at warp speed.

While many of us could only have dreamed of having face-to-face conversations with people on the other side of the world via a hand-held device, programs such as Skype and FaceTime have made these dreams a household reality; however, while your up-to-the-minute tech undoubtedly benefits you, do you ever stop to think about what happened to the companies that were left behind?

Think about the companies you used to use religiously, such as Nokia, Intel and Kodak. These companies once dominated their sectors of the market but somehow failed to find their place in a brave new world of iPhones, tablets and digital photography.

With Intel announcing just last month that it was set to lay off 12,000 employees, the harsh reality of becoming stagnant in the tech world is clear. If you are an employer, your decisions will affect the future of your workforce; if you are an employee, it seems that relying on the company to stay relevant on your behalf is not always enough.

Ironically for Intel, it was approached to provide the processor for the Apple iPhone when it was originally being designed. Intel declined, wrongly believing that it would not be successful enough to justify production costs. Little did the company know that it was about to miss out on becoming involved with one of the biggest technological phenomena of recent years – one that would end the PC era that Intel’s foundations were built on. The company made a bad call and has since paid the price.

This is why it is so important to self-develop and know as much as possible about your field. In doing so, you give yourself the very best chance of staying relevant. Keep up to date with industry news, developments and market shifts to understand the future of the business and consequently your role within it. This applies to management and employees alike.

Graduating and bagging your dream job does not guarantee longevity and it certainly does not guarantee success. The best way to achieve this is to continually strive to learn more about your profession and hone your skills to stay current enough to move with the market; otherwise, you too run the risk of being left behind.

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