For the first time in IT there are four key technology waves impacting business. “the Cloud, social, mobile and big data are all simultaneously disrupting the business environment as we know it today, and companies need to learn how to ride these waves to capitalise on the potential value each holds,” says Advanced Cloud Technologies Managing Director, Patrick Evans.
Cloud technology is increasingly becoming a cheaper way to deliver IT. Businesses are starting to consider making more use of cloud technology as it provides an increased value proposition to companies, especially in the areas of business not traditionally serviced by enterprise’s IT departments. “We are seeing companies beginning to move their marketing, sales, and HR services into the cloud, and we expect data security functions to also move over time,” says Evans.
Social has taken the consumer IT market by storm, driven by consumers and their desire for social interaction. Enterprises have taken some time to grapple with the challenge of what is acceptable for business when it comes to social and are now beginning to interact with it using YouTube videos for product demonstrations, company Facebook pages and CEO’s are beginning to tweet to their employee or customer base. The challenge for enterprises remains that social spreads beyond traditional target markets and leaves room for spontaneous and unexpected messages that cannot be controlled by the organisation.
The growth of mobile is the ultimate game changer for business as devices can be used anywhere, anytime and by anyone. Mobile devices will soon become the internet communication device of choice, making people more productive and increasingly connected.
Big data is a by-product of the other three main waves as they all begin to produce and collect enormous amounts of consumer data that enterprises’ need to interpret and analyse in order to extract the value from it. “This customer information should ideally be used in a way that informs enterprises on how to improve the customer experience,” says Evans.
“By customising customer communication in relation to individual needs and retail habits, enterprises can increase customer loyalty and transactions while creating communities of customers that have things in common. Improving the customers overall experience is the critical factor that enterprises should be focusing on at present, and the way to go about it is to capitalise on the four main technology waves,” Evans explains.
“While most companies realise that they need a mobile and social strategy, they are still engaging in isolated ad hoc activities, such as launching a mobile application or developing a corporate Facebook page. What they need to realise is the importance of a holistic view of these four waves and to thus develop a comprehensive strategy that includes mobile, social, cloud and big data elements with the overall goal of improving the customer experience, which in turn increases revenue, share of wallet and higher margins,” says Evans.
While enterprise IT departments are still grappling with how to deal with the challenges of mobile, social and cloud technology, enterprise marketing and sales teams are interested in embracing these new technologies, realising the increases in market share, worker productivity and customer loyalty that they will bring. Early adopters of a holistic business strategy to ride these waves will experience the greatest benefits in business success.
ACT has launched a number of new offerings in 2013, including a comprehensive mobile communication platform, coupled with a social commerce transaction platform to provide enterprises with everything they need to communicate bio-directionally with customers and create alternate channels to market. ACT’s focus is on becoming the strategic mobile partner of choice as companies re-imagine and re-calibrate their businesses.
“These four main waves are here, and they are set to disrupt business as we know it. It is now up to enterprises to learn how to ride them if they want to survive and thrive,” concludes Evans.