Intersecting Business, Technology, Innovation & People

Andreas Broustas
Andreas Broustas
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Navigating the intersection of Business and Technology for meaningful connections

The intersection of business, technology, innovation, and people (mainly focusing on Millennials and GenZs) is an important area to consider for companies looking to connect with the next generation of consumers and employees.

There’s a broad ongoing conversation about the demands of the younger generations regarding the employment type, the work-life balance but also their consumer habits and their general view on life itself. It seems that the people born from 1997 onwards, have developed a different approach on the way life should be lived, compared to older generations like millennials or Gex X for example.

It would be interesting to find out how Technology & Innovation, as fundamental aspects of the modern life, can help businesses come closer to people.

The importance of technology and innovation in designing customized experiences

Gen Z values personalization and convenience, and thus businesses must use appropriate technology and innovation tools to create such personalized experiences that will also make sure the products and services are delivered quickly and easily. Take for example the successful implementation of this idea that was adopted by Netflix, Uber, food delivery services, Airbnb and so many others. These businesses rely on AI and machine learning technologies to create personalized experiences and automate repetitive tasks, making their products more accessible and easier to use.

Apart from that, they also value authenticity and transparency. A lot of businesses have already understood the importance of the correct use of technology and innovation to create authentic and transparent experiences.  Examples can be drawn from using social media to connect with customers in real-time and using blockchain technology to ensure transparency in businesses that involve transactions like supply chains for example.

Today’s Innovation has given us the technological tools to create a Virtual and Augmented Reality to create immersive and interactive experiences. The increasing amount of people spending more and more time on the Virtual world verifies the value of experience over the material possession in Gen Z.  There’s a hype lately over the Metaverse and NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) where people are creating a personalized world on Metaverse. They work, live, socialize, create business, transact with each other etc.  It’s a revolution that is already happening and will soon impact the “real” world too. Businesses should be taking their sip on this new reality, trying to be accessible to their employees & consumers everywhere, anytime. For this to happen, they need to integrate technologies like blockchain, and cloud computing to ensure transparency, ease of transaction but also make their offering accessible from anywhere and on any device.

Promoting social responsibility through innovation

Last but not least, there’s a strong movement on sustainability and social impact. People representing these generations are more conscious than previous generations, and businesses must use technology and innovation to create products and services that will be appealing to this audience and their new demands. Surveys has shown that Millennials & Gen Zs are willing to pay more to get sustainable products and this trend will continue to grow as the income of these generations increases over time. Nevertheless, and regardless of their late efforts, brands have not yet managed to be transparent enough regarding their production, their green transition and their commitment to these products to convince more consumers and consequently there are a lot of steps to be taken over the next years.

Technology can help businesses to adopt to this new era by using renewable energy to power their data centers, implementing energy-efficient technologies, and using digital solutions to reduce waste and emissions etc. Apart from that, technology can be used to improve access to vital pillars of a society like education, healthcare and financial services creating a positive social impact in underprivileged communities. 

Regulatory frameworks based on ESG provide the pathway to businesses towards a more conscious future and pushing companies to adopt sustainable and socially responsible practices in order to attract investment as well as to reduce risk. Failing to address ESG issues can create significant risks to their operations and reputation, and thus technology is once again the solution to identify and manage these risks in a timely manner.

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All of the above-mentioned factors are increasingly impacting how businesses view and approach technology. Businesses are using technology to improve customer experience, sustainability, social impact, transparency, governance and to address new hypes, but also to create a new virtual reality. Additionally, responsible investing and risk management are becoming key drivers for companies to adopt practices that will allow them to attract and intersect with people who are setting the standards of our world for the next day. 

Grant Thornton | Insights

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