Keeping pace and unleashing digital enterprise

There are many things that companies need to keep pace with in today’s digital world, including customer demands and market expectations, new entrants to the market, multitudes of new platforms and cloud services, and staff expectations.

The customer comes first more than ever before and, in today’s digital enterprise, customers expect more and want products and services now, not later. Businesses willing to take a customer-centric approach will ultimately be more successful.

The coalescence of big-data-driven personalised marketing, the plethora of consumer choice and the simplicity with which consumer-grade IT operates has created an entire world of “very important customers”. Use of data insights means that corporate messaging is personalised to the individual and their needs.

Disruption is coming to all businesses, in all industries, with no business immune. And it’s just not just about high-tech or new services. The reality is that if one company doesn’t disrupt, another will.

In fact, it is often no longer just about the product. Organisations are identifying deficiencies with the status quo, whether that relates to the customer experience, brand engagement, or how the product is purchased. Deficiencies with the status quo are becoming the focus of disruption. Whatever the focus, the common theme is that the customer is placed at the front of conversation.

Today’s disrupters are often born-in-the-cloud firms. They don’t need to consider the decisions of IT systems past as they seek to address a market deficiency and profit from it. This means they can be more agile.

Technology enables pace, and when you don’t have to consider the baggage of IT systems past your pace can be faster, and this makes you more responsive. If you can be more responsive you’re more likely to keep pace with market forces.

Regardless of where and how it’s hosted, an IT system has three components: people, process and technology. If organisations choose the right technology their process may well get simpler. Great technology and simplified process often means happier, more engaged staff.

Focusing on people, new entrants to the workforce today are also different. They are internet and cloud natives, expect mobility and data from anywhere, and demand that corporate IT works the same way it does with their personal devices.

Often technology in organisations is three to five years behind the technology that workers are using in their personal lives. This creates challenges for engagement and retention, particularly as Generation Z enters the workforce en masse, as these net natives clash with systems that are out of pace with how they want to work.

In the hybrid cloud world that many organisations find themselves in, there is much data in many locations. With so many services in so many locations, there is a question around how to draw a line around data in the same way organisations could in the past, and how to protect it.

Today, security should not be about drawing a boundary, because there will always be something new. A new approach is needed. Identity should become the new boundary of the IT platform and its data. Identity should become the control plane.

Keeping pace is not easy but is essential for businesses that want to survive a digital era.

Andrew Burke, CTO, Empired

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