Technology as a Commodity Utility Keeping the Lights on OR
Technology as Innovation Driving Business Growth
Two articles from last week have caught my attention as well as the continued pressure in corporate objectives to use technology to drive business growth and be an enabler, differentiator in the market and not just a utility running the business like electricity as a commodity. It catches my attention both from a marketing perspective and the role of technology to drive business growth.
The first article came from InformationWeek, “Why IT Must Get Back Into Growth Mode” (http://bit.ly/avHbr1) and the second one from PCMag.com, “Update: Intuit Sites Outage Strands Thousands of SMBs” (http://bit.ly/dsxnQR).
The first is interesting to think about from a marketing perspective as a maketeer, Royal Caribbean needs to use technology to run analytics against it’s customers to encourage spending while on holiday cruising and must do that every seven days with brand new customers in seven day cycles. Definitely not possible to perform manually. The second article illustrates another interesting marketing perspective in driving to be an innovator in embracing new technology in 2008 and being an early market technology adopter recognizing time to market is key in enjoying the spoils that come in driving and growing business with technology. However, there are risks to be taken and what is acceptable risk?
Businesses are at a tipping point with their use of technology and IT is part of that business. It’s not IT AND Business, it’s the business and how it grows and how it chooses to use technology to be a competitive differentiator faster than the market. These articles point out key success and risk factors.
Those who are In Tune with your customers and market dynamics with the agility to act upon that knowledge are leaders in their industry. Leveraging technology to put that knowledge to use knowing how to interact with them is a key to quality of service and customer loyalty. Both businesses created a personal level of service, one used analytics and the other embraced an open, connected delivery platform for services from any device creating an enjoyable customer experience.
Time to Market
The spoils of victory go to he who is first to market. Leveraging new technology in a new way leads to true innovation that changes how markets function. Access to vast amounts of data for analytical processing, the Cloud and as-a-Service models are new technology platforms that alter the customer experience and how a customer does business altering the expectations of those industries. Those who are agile enough to be first to market, lead their industries while the others “keep up” as more of a utility just running the business.
Being first to market also means taking some risks. Calculated risks continue to be rewarded, short-cuts end in bubble bursts (dot com bust). It’s not that you failed to deliver service, it’s how you respond, what you learn and put into place after a service failure that counts.
As I conclude this entry, I read a lot of commentary from the “cloud naysayers” and lots of threats from customers to leave Intuit. Shame on them, threats are not action. In the end it is still their responsibility to define the level of service they expect driving the management and calculated risk organizations like Intuit take in being agile enough to leverage a new technology to change how business is transacted and leading their industry.
Neither the Cloud or Intuit failed. Technology will fail, it’s how you react that determines failure. That reaction carries over to the customers who made the threats to leave and may now over react with cost prohibitive service level expectations. Technology brings both risk and opportunity, those who best balance control and agility lead their industries.
Technology powered Business –> Business driven Technology