A recent Tata Consultancy Services report, entitled ‘The Road to Reimagination: The State and High Stakes of Digital Initiatives’, explores how Global 2,000 companies are using five transformative technologies – big data and analytics; cloud computing; mobile and pervasive computing; social media; robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) – to move towards digital reimagination. This includes changing their core business models, products and services, business processes and workplaces. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, CEO of Tata Consultancy Services, explains that “the world economy is in the midst of a tectonic shift from the internet economy to the digital consumer economy.” He also believes that the aforementioned five digital technologies “are driving this shift.” “Individually, these technologies are undoubtedly powerful but, when combined, they have the potential to fundamentally change how enterprises develop products, market themselves and engage with customers across every major industry.” “It is vital that businesses focus their activities in this space on the right business objectives. It is clear that this approach is the best way to maximise return on investment and, although this can be difficult, the businesses that can do so will be well placed to survive and thrive in the new digital-led economy.” The research highlights that top digital leaders have all achieved superior capabilities in understanding what customers want in three areas:
Identifying customer needs for whole new products or services;
Improving demand forecasting; and
Tailoring offerings to smaller and finer-grained customer segments.
Furthermore, it was found that digital leaders are most likely to focus their efforts on using digital technologies to deliver greater insights into customer behaviour and expectations: 74 per cent are focused on using digital initiatives to more accurately predict demand for their products or services, with 66 per cent prioritising initiatives that allow them to monitor how customers are using products or services in order to identify the need for new offerings. Businesses also expect to spend more of their digital budgets on big data than any other technology. Over the next three years, 28 per cent of all digital investments will be spent on big data technologies compared to 20 per cent on social media, 20 per cent on mobile, 19 per cent on cloud computing and 13 per cent on AI and robotics. Currently, businesses are relying primarily on mobile apps and social media analysis as sources of data on their customers; both of these technologies are used by 50 per cent of respondents. However, wearable technology is expected to become a major source of customer data with 62 per cent of businesses planning to gather data from wearable digital devices by 2020. Chandrasekaran added: “Our report shows that enterprises recognise the importance of digital initiatives, 70 per cent. As demonstrated by the digital leaders we spoke to, enterprises investing in digital activity will do best putting their energy behind one focused digital strategy, moving towards digital reimagination.” By Shané Schutte
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