At the 2013 International SalonSpa Business Network conference in San Antonio, the first keynote speaker issued a wake up call to the attendees, most of whom own multi-unit salon operations. “Learning about technology today is as important as learning to read your balance sheet,” Andrew Ranson, a partner with Future Point of View said. “As a set of tools that we can use to improve what humans can do, technology has become an X factor in organizational success—companies that do it well are prospering, while those that don’t are struggling.”

Ranson believes most business leaders don’t understand enough about technology to lead it strategically. His company works with executives and their teams to develop technology mastery, which he says can build an environment where companies can prosper at levels ahead of their competition. “We are in a technology explosion and it is pervading nearly every area of our lives. If your company is  not delivering information at the level that your consumers are used to receiving it, then you will looked at as being behind.”

Ranson’s presentation helped attendees indentify the forces re-shaping industries and understand the importance of developing a ‘high-beam’ ability to identify technology trends that will shape the future. After his presentation, Ranson talked with Stacey Soble, editor of SALON TODAY, to look at some of the tech advancements and how they could shape a salon’s future: