Taking on the business disruptors – connect effectively or get left behind

In our current landscape, customers are the true innovators, constantly pushing brands based on their expectations.

Today, customers know what they want and expect it with immediacy.

Whether it be hailing a taxi to your exact location via a mobile app, hiring a ready-made home to explore a new destination or shopping an online marketplace that delivers directly to your door. The likes of Uber, Airbnb and Amazon are business disruptors, they have transformed entire industries overnight and set the new standard for consumer experience. This is the economy of connectivity. 

In this this economy, it’s the businesses that are most adaptable to change that are most likely to survive – much like Darwinism. In order to survive silos can’t exist. Customers don’t see a business as a set of different departments, they just see one company and want one seamless experience. If businesses connect their data, intelligence and experience on one platform this seamless experience can be easily delivered – but this is easier said than done. 

Learning from the leaders 

The success of these business disruptors is defined by their ability to become a large enterprise that operates at the speed of a small start-up. It shows that speed, scale and standardisation is paramount to business success. A connected cloud is the shortcut solution to business transformation. The numbers speak for themselves, of 376 cloud adopters surveyed by Harvard Business Review, 76% launched new products faster, 62% expanded into new market segments, and 55% expanded rapidly geographically. 

A truly connected enterprise is still a rarity. Some organisations have taken steps in the right direction – and have begun integrating some of their applications. But, here, we’re talking about a business that is completely open and integrated. That’s not just vertically, laterally, diagonally – but externally too; pulling in customer, partner and even supplier data into one place. This is the end goal, ‘infinite’ connectivity, and this is the only way to unearth those ‘hidden’ insights that will help a business differentiate itself from its competition and help to create new value opportunities.

Stop the silos

Many organisations still have difficulty taking the first step to the cloud due to integration

hurdles with existing systems. In fact, over a third (37%) of organisations spend more time collecting data than analysing it, with 59% of CFOs saying that ‘difficulty extracting data from legacy platforms’ is a major challenge. This is a mammoth job, which is why for many ‘leverage the cloud’ remains at the very bottom of the to-do list. This does not need to be the case, there are in fact many opportunities for business leaders to leverage cloud using straightforward adoption scenarios. 

For example, connecting existing on-premises ERP to a planning and budgeting cloud service can help cut down spreadsheet madness and streamline planning. In the same way, connecting existing HR systems to cloud talent management solutions allows businesses to track performance and develop skills in employees. The core purpose of all of these cloud applications is to shortcut processes and remove the laborious administrative tasks which leaves more time to focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences. 

Connect effectively or get left behind

Connectivity is the only way to get the nuggets of information on customers that will inform the experiences they need and demand. This connectivity means bringing together information from both in and outside of the business – from suppliers or distributors, for example. But to go through all of that data in order to unearth the right bit of insight in a timely fashion is practically impossible for a human to do. After all, your average business can have billions of data sets to look through. This is why AI is the missing part of the hyper-connected puzzle.  

With AI in the equation, all organisational data can be analysed in a matter of minutes – and it’s that time saving that can help a company beat their competition with a new proposition. 

As we move forward in the experience economy, AI built into company systems will be crucial to helping businesses make the most of their data allowing them to act on insights and unlock the innovative ideas that will help them to become tomorrow’s business disruptor. 

About the Author

Debbie Green, VP Applications at Oracle. Experienced Sales Leader with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Business Process, Enterprise Software, Sales, Partner Management. Strong sales professional.

Featured image: ©Faithie