How is digital transformation changing business?
This week I am at the Australian Microsoft Partner Conference hearing from some of the global thought leaders about where technology is taking business and transformations that are taking place not just in the IT business but across different industries.
I had the privilege of listening to Tiffani Bova of Gartner present on Tuesday. Gartner are industry analysts that spend their time assessing emerging technologies and determining their potential impact on the world. One of Gartner’s recurring themes is that to remain competitive today every business needs to be an IT business.
This is about thinking differently and driving change in industries.
Two obvious examples of IT companies that have changed the world are Uber and Airbnb.
Uber is the biggest taxi/limo company in the world but does not own any cars. Airbnb is booking more bed-nights than any hotel group but owns no real estate or beds.
Companies are finding ways to use technology to drive transactions without needing to own assets and without the need to take years to build a successful business.
It is by re-invention and disruption that these ideas are born and change the rules of society and change the way business is done.
Legal issues are being argued out on many fronts as the runaway success of these businesses has boomed ahead of the ability of legislation to place safety checks and measures in place to ensure the business carried out suitably protects the consumers or the existing industries.
For example, some people are renting apartments on long-term leases and then letting them by the day at higher rates online. This is not legal as they do not have the right to sublet the property but it is hard in some places to detect and stop this behaviour. Hotels are up in arms as it has a negative impact on their business which is heavily regulated.
There will inevitably be a settling period for these disruptive technology lead businesses and then a new norm will emerge.
The question each business owner needs to be asking is how can we move to a technology lead business? It could be a small step like a pizza shop offering an app for its clients to order a delivery from a mobile phone or it could be a coffee shop offering a digital frequent visitor scheme to encourage locals to be regular clients. It could be a new way of automating parts of a process to speed up delivery and reduce the human effort required in service delivery.
Digital transformation is all around us as more can be electronically controlled, measured, reported and modified each day. What innovation can you imagine that others can help you implement or create that can give your company or a new company a massive advantage in an industry?
At the conference we heard from Scott Osborne CEO of Total Synergy who had changed his sales and marketing structure from one marketing person and multiple sales staff to four digital marketing staff and one sales person with a result of reducing his sales cycle from 180 days to 30 to 40 days.
He attributed this to engaging with prospects when they were ready to buy as they had self-educated before contacting his company. This gives his company a big early adopter advantage.
There are many ways to make better use of technology to drive new or better results in every business that we each need to become an IT business.
David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for Business IT that makes sense. How can we help?