The past 40 years have brought massive transformation to how businesses interact with their customers. In what areas should businesses invest to seize the benefits of this new era, characterized by automation and rapid exchanges of data?
The last major technology-driven transformation began mid-way through the last century, developing from mainframe computers through the emergence of the web and mobile device proliferation. The digital revolution is now evolving into a new paradigm, marked by automation and rapid data communications. Often termed Industry 4.0, this new era will see the pervasive use of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things, cloud and cognitive computing.
The emergence of the fourth industrial revolution presents new opportunities for both consumers and businesses. Underpinned by AI and data analytics, businesses can take their products and services to new levels of sophistication. For the consumer, digital solutions will be personalized and context-specific (check out Forrester's pathway to better CX here).
With this new era there also comes fusion between business and technology domains. Digital has become a strategic investment that’s no longer the preserve of the CIO: data decisions now involve lines of business and the board. Business is digital, and digital is business.
Immersing technological change into corporate culture requires deep expertise on both where technology is going and what impact this will have on consumer expectations. Firms should assemble new communities driven by the passion of engineers who are ahead of the technology curve, working alongside others with business domain expertise.
Cross-functional teams should combine specialized skills in web, mobile and back-end but act as a holistic group that understands project needs and can deliver efficiently. Small teams will often operate in dedicated studios that unleash creativity and innovation. These structures should be backed up with clear progress indicators: KPIs must monitor performance and teams should deliver metrics to make quality, velocity and other factors transparent.
Through great leadership, partnering and crafting new cultures, every company stands a chance to participate in, and lead, the next wave of business. To read a more in-depth article on this matter, please visit this page.