Meeting the huge and changing expectations of consumers, and anticipating the demand of tomorrow, requires technology.
Meeting the expectations of consumers, and anticipating demands, requires technology.
In this digital era, consumers are increasingly informed, demanding and engaged. Greater choice is paramount for a customer that is consuming media differently; purchasing through a range of channels and empowered to access better services based on a wealth of information available at their fingertips.
These consumers want to increase personal productivity, improve their social collaboration experience and have more convenient access to entertainment; and they want to do this through seamless, interconnected technology with access available anywhere, 24/7.
Engaging with consumers requires a new approach. Loyalty has to be built in new ways that are based on interacting with consumers in the way that suits them. Organisations that can build a genuine multi-channel approach to direct engagement can build both trust and engagement and unlock valuable intelligence to help optimise stocking, pricing and sales revenue.
For many savvy organisations, gamification is also becoming part of their engagement programmes to underpin growth strategies. Organisations are learning to break down the elements that make games so popular and apply these elements to the digital experience with the aim of building employee engagement and productivity, for educational purposes and to enhance customer loyalty and purchasing of products and services at specific times. Most importantly, gamification appeals directly to the new generations of discerning consumers who expect a well designed and sophisticated online experience.
Enhancing traditional business models to facilitate growth
Technology is enhancing traditional business models and creating new ones at an unprecedented rate. Social media, analytics, mobility, gamification, cyber security and cloud will act enablers to the next generation of trends, which will surpass today’s in scale, complexity and impact on the world around us.
Meeting the huge and changing expectations of consumers, and anticipating the as yet undefined demand of tomorrow, requires technology. Customer engagement, enhancing sales channels, expanding customer touch points, product innovation, predictive analytics around buying behaviour to drive service delivery strategies – all of these are growth mechanisms that are inextricably linked to technology.
The evolving role of the CIO
Against this backdrop of disruption and change technology has evolved beyond simply being an efficiency lever and a way to reduce cost, to be a real enabler of growth. Many organisations are discovering that the implications of this shift on people skills and culture is profound and today’s CIO must take a leading role in helping organisations to adapt and change. CIOs have a clear role to play in determining what growth levers an organisation choses to use. They must also be sufficiently skilled and empowered to decide on the most appropriate technological solution to enable growth, striking a delicate balance between investing in proven capability available today and trying to predict what might be just over the horizon.
In the latter case, the CIO’s role as a broker of innovation can demand deft political and leadership skills. Working effectively with new peers such as the Chief Marketing Officer or Digital Officer can be challenging; while keen to own the digital strategy most CMOs have no desire to own the technology debt that accompanies it.
In summary, IT is in many cases a prerequisite for organisational growth and success and boards are rightly seeking to get a better understanding of IT matters. IT needs to be a mainstream of the business and CIOs need a place at the table setting strategy not just helping to interpret and implement it.
With technology now defining the consumer experience, digital paradigms are now defining the pathways to growth.