What businesses can learn from the sports industry

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Businesses have become more tech-savvy than ever before. Digital transformation has been talked about for years – and it’s the challenge that every business is trying to solve and simultaneously stay ahead of. With long-established brands shutting their doors as a result of not being able to adapt to an increasingly digital society, and challenger brands popping up across every sector, digitisation is the key to surviving – and thriving.  

The evolution of sport and business

We’ve come a long way from dusty racetracks and stopwatches. Technology has improved the accuracy, enjoyment and experiences of both athletes and spectators at sporting events.

From photo finish equipment to goal line tracking, body sensors and Hawk-Eye video review technology – the sports industry has become slick, and awash with technological innovation. And it seems that the record breakers of the future will need to take full advantage of the technology on offer to stay on top. So it is in business – digital transformation is an essential way for any (and every) company to gain and maintain a competitive edge.

From stadiums to office buildings

There are many athletic tactics that companies can adopt to become agile and stay on top of their game – working on their own or with a provider:

  1. Data recording. In sport, this is the ability to record data – using either wearables or smart clothing. These are fitted with sensors that track a player’s performance metrics. Arenas, like smart courts, can also offer these data insights. Using this data can identify ‘marginal gains’ – by identifying weaknesses and areas of improvement – and help athletes improve their game.
    In business, having a greater awareness of metrics and data is crucial for success. Just like in sport, data can drive performance. By investing in the right tools, companies can predict customer trends and behaviours and make calculated decisions that will boost sales opportunities and increase customer retention – thus leading to an increased revenue stream.
    Data-driven insights will be able to facilitate this process, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-learning tracking and predicting purchasing habits. This will help companies instantly identify – and better yet, anticipate – and meet consumers’ needs.
  2. Recuperation. In sport, Michael Phelps – one of the most decorated Olympians of all time – used a hyperbaric (altitude) chamber to increase his white blood cell count via breathing thinner air in the build-up to the Rio Olympics. This allowed him to reduce his body’s recovery time, by circulating more oxygen around whilst swimming. This also ultimately increased his performance.
    In business, when mistakes happen, minimal recovery time is crucial – especially when these mistakes involve user information and digital platforms. Investing in business continuity solutions that offer backup and two-channel connections will keep your recovery time down, reduce your costs and help maintain customer trust. It’s also crucial to have a strategy in place, should downtime or disaster strike. Maintaining transparency and following a distinct, mapped-out plan of protocols, processes and strategies will minimise a business’ recovery time.
    In addition, performing regular audits will help you identify issues before they strike – thus helping companies both minimise the impact of these events, and maintain brand confidence.
  3. Critical thinking. In sport, Tour de France cyclists train with special glasses that reveal heart rate, incline and speed. Athletes are also able to cycle and run while being in communication with their trainer via earpieces and headsets – which helps them optimise their performance.
    Critical thinking. In sport, Tour de France cyclists train with special glasses that reveal heart rate, incline and speed. Athletes are also able to cycle and run while being in communication with their trainer via earpieces and headsets – which helps them optimise their performance.
    Communication is one of the most important aspects of a business model. When different teams, and members within those teams, are speaking and communicating effectively, this will enhance business efficiency and productivity – and minimise mistakes and misunderstandings. In addition, effective communication will empower employees when it comes to tackling tasks autonomously. Good communication empowers a team, and benefits every business, regardless of the sector it operates in.
  • The right input. In sport, diet-specific apps make it possible to track the macros and nutritional information of everything you’re putting in your body – to ensure that you’re consuming the right amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates to reach peak fitness performance levels.
    The right input. In sport, diet-specific apps make it possible to track the macros and nutritional information of everything you’re putting in your body – to ensure that you’re consuming the right amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates to reach peak fitness performance levels.
    Planning and forecasting is also important. By predicting pitfalls and problems, and planning for how to protect against them, and recover in the worst-case scenario, businesses will be well-placed to operate (and recuperate) effectively. But this is only achievable if all aspects of a business are constructed and upscaled correctly.

Technology has revolutionised every aspect of our lives – and for businesses to be able to compete in today’s increasingly saturated marketplace, they must embrace the opportunities that digital transformation can provide – or risk falling behind.

Companies without adequate in-house IT resources can source the support of managed service providers, which will help them develop, innovate and stay ahead of the game in today’s rapidly-evolving digital landscape – across all sectors.

Ben Savage, Sales & Marketing Director, Timico
Image Credit: Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK