Companies are embracing the idea of the digital enterprise as an “inevitable movement toward a ‘digital center’ in which business models, offerings and value chains are digitized to the maximum extent possible.” Digitization offers promising prospects for improved customer experience, closer employee engagement, and more agile IT and business operations. And software innovation is at the heart of what makes it all happen.
Just what is digitization? At its simplest level, digitization is about bringing together connected things and processes through automation and analytics to provide new insights and value. It can be offering a traditional service in a new online and interconnected way such as mobile banking. Or it can be offering an entirely new service based on unique insight harnessed from a network of devices, or from an active series of transactions, such as an early-warning fraud-alert service. As consumers, we experience the benefits of digitization every day in the many mobile and online apps we use.
And this trend is behind the emergence of new companies built on digitization that have quickly risen to multi-billion dollar valuations. Tom Goodwin of TechCrunch writes:
“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”
What all of these companies have in common is a digitized business model that allows them to deliver a new level of customer experience through innovation in software. Winning companies will delight and amaze their customers. Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield.
Through software, Cisco can help companies take advantage of these opportunities. Cisco Collaboration and Cisco ONE mobility software for example can help a retailer deliver an unparalleled customer experience. Let’s say a shopper is using her smartphone to browse a retailer’s web site. Cisco software innovation enables “Click to chat” with video capabilities so she can get personalized, live help in making a decision. And with Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX), the retailer can better understand the shopper’s exact preferences and profile to help them locate the closest store that carries the item, generate promotions, etc.
Shopping is just one of the many areas in which winning businesses are continually blurring the physical and digital boundaries. Please join the discussion and let me know if there are areas in your business that you’ve digitized successfully, and if you have others in the works.