NEWS AND INFORMATION
With cloud, mobile, social and big data advances all happening at once and at lightning speed, how will shifts in technology impact the way software businesses are run?
Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, recently made a prediction that three key areas will change everything. These three areas are:
- Data analytics will drive business decisions
- Social Networks will impact on value delivery
- Individuals will no longer be aggregated
Here is a look at how these may affect the modern software vendor.
Data Analytics – “business decisions and opportunity creation”
As potential customers use technology more and more in their assessment and purchasing processes as opposed to traditional face-to-face sales relationships, so the use of data will become more important to understand markets, drive content delivery and to predict futures.
Data will also be used to understand what customers have already consumed and where there are opportunities for complimentary products and services.
For example, a customer may have purchased a financial ERP solution but they are a manufacturing organization so they should also have MRP applications in their solution mix … where they do not currently have this, so analytics would highlight the opportunity.
This could be reinforced by analyzing the movements of individuals in the organization as they review content on a site … they would be downloading brochures, reviewing certain products, viewing videos, etc. If this happens to be MRP related material, then the analytics would increase the rankings of the opportunity.
While these networks in years past were predominantly used in the social lives of individuals, as those people start to permeate into the business world, so is the use of social networks becoming integral to their day-to-day business activities.
These social networks will be used for finding information, rating products and services and getting feedback from existing customers.
Business software vendors will need to drive more of their content to these social networks so that it is readily available to their potential customers.
Individuals – “the depreciation of aggregation”
Rometty put it like this ... “What you will see with rapid data and social sharing is the death of the average and the introduction of the era of you”.
As opposed to using aggregated segmentation to target customers, the data and social changes together with the emerging technology to use these will allow business to interact at an individual level and cater to their specific needs and wants.
In the business software arena this is desirable and necessary as no two businesses are identical and so the solutions created need to be unique for each customer. As such, the successful sale demands this “individual” approach.
These changes will need a cultural and mindset shift as well as the adoption of new technologies and systems (for example Ecosystem Management Platforms) to support the business software vendor through these changes.
While the challenges would exist, the opportunity to unearth new opportunities would be substantial.