Digital Transformation, Changing Economics

With the rapidly increasing consumer demand and the explosion of data, a marketer must understand a company’s technology and a CIO must understand customer communication goals.

Scott Sorokin Jul 20th 2016 A-A+

The evolution of the digital landscape, coupled with rapidly increasing consumer demand has resulted in companies looking to find new ways to leverage technology, disrupt markets and increase speed-to-market. This isn’t new. In fact, it happens every few years. Markets undergo upheaval, new technologies replace the old, rinse and repeat. But there’s something different about what’s going on now.

The latest technologies leverage cloud and data and are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, creating opportunities for companies to deliver truly responsive enterprises with highly personalized, real-time experiences, massively accelerating every decision-making process underpinning the business.

The Rise of Consumer-Grade Technology

The pace at which technology is evolving is driving organizations to do more and more in each passing budget cycle. Given the rate of change in business today, we are reaching a tipping point where our existing collection of systems is unable to accommodate our needs.  

A major part of the challenge most organizations face is the massive legacy landscape of applications, systems and infrastructure. In addition, the relative cost of consumer-grade technology is falling dramatically. Box, Google Drive, AWS and others now provide the same capabilities offered by many traditional enterprise solutions.

The shift in spending from enterprise-grade to consumer-grade is already happening at a rate the likes of which we have never seen.

The challenges and opportunities for IT in this digital age are enormous. Companies need to adapt rapidly to match changing technologies and consumer behavior. Enterprises are particularly challenged by this new reality. Their technology roadmaps must now be seamlessly interwoven with ever-expanding digital and business strategies that address everything from personal banking, shopping, and everyday workplace functions, to complex business transactions. In short, digital technology is profoundly reshaping the way we live and do business.

Traditional marketing and commerce are being replaced by their digital twins, driving double-digit increases in technology investments. Gartner’s recent CMO Spend Survey 2015-2016 revealed CMO plans to increase tech investments across social marketing (65 percent), digital commerce (64 percent), marketing analytics (61 percent), customer experience (56 percent) and ad ops (54 percent).

Enter the Responsive Enterprise

“Responsive enterprise” will drive what has been called the “consumerization of IT,” where applications and services provided by IT to internal employees start to look and feel more like those that are provided to consumers, enabling the idea of “everybody on.” This means everything and everyone is connected, and the professional and the consumer comes together as one with two distinctive sides to them. Leveraging technology integrates the company, its employees and customers to deliver personalized and customized, real-time experiences instantly – anytime, anywhere, any channel.

Companies are now realizing their potential to:

  1. Provide customers with customized, personalized, real-time offers at point-of-sale by utilizing geo-targeting and purchase history data
  2. Eliminate stock supply issues through predictive forecasting using consumer demand variants
  3. Anticipate and schedule maintenance of machinery via machine learning algorithms

Enterprises are increasingly bringing technology and marketing practices together to create seamless, integrated investments that facilitate more accurate and specific customer insights, ultimately facilitating new ways of engaging customers. With the rapidly increasing consumer demand and the explosion of data, it has become clear that a marketer must understand a company’s technology and a CIO must understand customer communication goals. In the most progressive, customer-focused companies, digital transformation is pulling down the wall between enterprise and customer-facing technologies.

Enterprises will need to reframe initiatives as integrated efforts that are measured by customer experiences and business outcomes in order to address the heightened customer expectations and the complexity of today’s competitive and fast-moving business environment. In doing so, they will become more efficient and more effective with technology investments, driving the change needed to win in a digitally-transformed world.

Author Bio:

The author is the Global Head of Digital at Infosys. Prior to Infosys he was the Chief Strategy Officer at Publicis.Sapient/Razorfish. Scott has been a strategist and digital partner for senior-level executives at Fortune 100 companies for over 25 years.

Disclaimer: This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributing authors and not of IDG Media and its editor(s)