Been there, done that
Most businesses are somehow unable or unwilling to adopt a dynamic mindset nor the enabling technologies for various reasons. Some organizations may from time to time incorporate a few tools, mostly as a knee jerk reaction, and even in those instances do not do so from an organization wide perspective. Apart from not adopting, some organizations actively roll out barriers to having enabling technologies available to themselves, their staff, and even to their clients. Most systems and processes organizations adopt are based on older models. For example, fat-client, client-server, mega data-center based systems procured from vendors who are no longer on the cutting edge of business focused technologies. Furthermore, after implementing these vintage technologies, they find their organization far from agile, saddled with minor, incremental benefits rather than the transformational outcomes hoped for.
To illustrate the crux of this article – say you are a manufacturer, and you make, maintain and move products. Your margins are getting smaller, pressured into reducing time-to-market, challenged by customers looking for more options, unable to find robust ways to improve manufacturing and supply chains. The vintage aka legacy systems and related processes at your disposal will not be able to satisfy this current business reality nor be able to meet the challenges of the next. How do you stay alive for starters, and then get ahead at some point on your road map? What business tools, and enabling services can you embrace in order to dynamically design, develop, share and collaborate with your team, partners, and clients to be the chosen manufacturer going forward? Do you use WhatsApp or Yammer across the organization to communicate with your team dynamically or do you still pick up the phone, send multiple emails back and forth in endless cycles to communicate? Do you use Skype to show a prototype to your partners and clients to get instance feedback before you ship it and find that it does not meet their need? Do you spend an entire afternoon in a stuffy meeting room or do you use Google Hangouts to share and shape a new concept or product? Do you have a mobile app that enables your staff to access, collaborate and communicate with each other and/or your client? Do you offer a mobile app directly to your client so both you and the client can seamlessly connect and trade?
And if you are a service provider, do you offer the traditional phone and website approach for your customers to reach you? Or do you give them several of the above mentioned options to communicate with you including a constellation of mobile based applications to render your services anytime, anywhere? Do you offer Google Wallet or Apple Pay so clients can make a virtual payment, tie-in with a third party cloud-based delivery system to convey your services? Or do you still make the client call you or come to your office, use traditional sales people, possibly use a central location to render services? Are your days getting longer because you and your teams are tethered to a PC or a laptop? Can you sustain the 24 x7 on-demand world without having everyone on your team on a smartphone and/or a tablet computer? Why not roll out a preconfigured tablet with your product ordering or tracking system embedded, providing it to your trading partners and clients?
Moreover if you are a retailer, do you have your customers go to a traditional website and click checkboxes, make them navigate through several checkout pages? Or can you offer via the cloud an app that shows all your products where they can scroll and/or flip through via an interactive menu, possibly enable them to only use their thumb and forefinger to move and select multiple products, and pay via a linkup with an online bank account? Why not combine your Millennial shoppers’ unquenchable thirst to play online games? Do so by incorporating a gamified online shopping experience where they can play a game and have a chance of winning perks, all the while making purchases from your business?