Recently, different studies conducted by Gartner, Deloitte and PwC confirmed one of the business realities that had become fairly evident to me: that technology is the number one priority of CEOs.
Being the head of an information technology firm, I see daily, the main impacts of the digital era on today's businesses.
In today’s digital age, all lines of business are concerned by the impact of the technological revolution. Managers must understand the changes occurring, in order to exploit them to their advantage.
1. Increasing the availability of human and financial resources
I often reiterate the importance of initiating the shift to an enterprise 3.0 by simplifying and automating IT. For example, this can be done by using managed services to outsource the maintenance of your IT infrastructure or through the implementation of hyper-converged systems.
This is an investment that allows you to reduce the operating costs related to the management of your IT systems, which absorbs on average 70% of IT budgets, and to free up human and financial resources that are necessary for the realisation of innovative projects.
The smartest companies will choose to reinvest the money saved by streamlining and automating their IT systems in order to stand out in an aspect of business becoming essential: the customer experience.
2. Improving the customer experience
With the Internet, e-commerce, mobility and smart phones, customers have mounting expectations towards merchants. More than ever, customers are looking for a simple, efficient and memorable experience. And the concept of customer experience is not limited to the B2C sector; B2B companies cannot ignore this critical element.
IT offers a multitude of opportunities to attract and retain a loyal customer base and improve the customer experience as a whole. For example, in partnership with a Quebec leader in the retail industry, we developed an application that optimises the communication between employees and managers of a company.
Combining telephony, personnel and inventory management to the new features available with geolocation and instant messaging, the application allows retail businesses to significantly reduce the loss of time and money. In addition to maximizing the performance of managers, it improves the quality of customer service, and by extension, the customer experience.
This is a mobile application that can be adapted to any industry or department where there is a need to improve communication.
3. Increasing sales and profits
The digital age also allows companies to attain better results and generate additional revenue that often exceeds expectations.
In the food sector, for example, our experts developed a mobile application that allowed a food distributor to optimise its order placement process for buyers, during their numerous tradeshows. Thanks to this application, orders are recorded in real time in the central system, allowing the distributor to adjust the inventory quickly depending on the request.
Even though their initial needs were mainly operational, the effectiveness of the tool has enabled our client to double sales in their first "tradeshow 2.0" and since then their profits continue to rise at each event. An impact that illustrates particularly well the role of IT as a catalyst for business growth.
Also, what contributes to the success of this application is that it takes into account the customer experience. Potential buyers are invited to download the application on arrival and in 2 clicks, they can begin placing orders for products that interest them. The simplicity of the process improves the customer experience, which has a direct impact on sales.
4. Redefining business models
The most significant impact of the digital age is probably the redefinition of traditional business models. And although some companies are ready to face this impact, most of them still have much preparation to do.
Increasingly, business managers are concerned about the reformulation of the rules of the game in the business world. And they have reason to be concerned! The tremendous success of Über, one of the most important players in the taxi industry, and yet has no taxis, is a rude awakening for many.
If you do not know what the future holds, it is certain that the technological revolution we are experiencing is nowhere near close to running out of steam. Thus, no company is immune from a sudden metamorphosis of the current business in its sector.
IT offers almost infinite possibilities and, therefore, the traditional ways of doing business are crumbling. Managers need not fear this new reality, but rather find a way to exploit it to stand out and to innovate.
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