Staying relevant in the age of the Internet

In ‘new world,’ technology reigns supreme

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In just 10 years, over 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies will no longer be around.

A telecommunications company in Brazil predicts that its major revenue driver today will only be its second-largest revenue driver in five years.

More upstart nimble companies will upstage the incumbent companies burdened by their past that will become laggards overnight.

These are among the bold predictions of Cisco senior vice president Carlos Dominguez, who says that in the “new world” powered by the Internet, social media and connected intelligent devices, companies should better prepare and change their DNA or culture to stay relevant and become “not obsolete.”

Dominguez tells journalists that organizations today are experiencing significant upheavals and disruptions, which company CEOs are finding hard to manage.

Not the least of these problems is the challenge to stay relevant amid a rapidly evolving marketplace.

Dominquez says we are now at a “turning point” in history as businesses, government and society get “rebooted.”

“It’s a new world, new rules, and companies are thriving, leading and surviving in a rebooted world,” he says.

Dominguez adds that the Internet continues to profoundly affect the way people, company and society are doing things, adding that jobs today like web programming and online marketing did not exist 20 years ago.

“New businesses like CitiVille, a gaming platform in Facebook, were able to get 26 million users in 12 days. The Internet and social media provide that ability to scale up rapidly. The Internet has not been here long and yet it has profoundly affected the way we do things,” he says.

The youth are also leveraging on social media to effect change immediately.

Dominguez says the Internet used to be primarily focused on the individual, but now through the social media, these individuals have combined to become a powerful force.

He cites as an example the online campaign initiated by a 22-year-old American who encouraged depositors of Bank of America and other Americans to pressure the bank to remove the $5 debit card fee.

Three hundred thousand people signed up and the bank recalled the fee.

“Customers now have the power of social media to battle companies,” he says.

Dominguez adds: “There has been a role reversal as consumers are now driving the innovation circle. They have better tools than large corporations.”

Dominguez also says that companies should be prepared for the “Net generation” as people born today come “infected with The New World.”

“The Net Generation is 100 percent digital,” says Dominguez, taking into account that toddlers already know how to operate the iPad.

“The New People infected with the New World will be your future employees and customers. They use technology a lot. They are multicultural, networkers, collaborators and totally connected. They are the largest new workforce since baby boom,” he adds.

Dominguez says, however, that the elements of company success DNA or culture will always involve customer service, operational excellence and product leadership.

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