Technologies That Will Improve Collaboration with Better Systems and Processes
Current development in information and communications technology (ICT) has introduced parity to the world we live in. Whether making education more available with massive open online courses (MOOCs) to individuals, or giving businesses access to technology which in the past would have been too costly with cloud computing, the playing field is more level than ever before. The required IT resources are available, however not all are being used effectively, and finding the right fit between technology, human skills and organizational factors requires a clear understanding of the role the chosen technology will play in it.
Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud (SMAC)
One constant in the tech world is the alphabet soup describing new technology or the amalgamation of different sets of technologies, which is the case for SMAC. According to a recent IBM survey of 1,477 IT and non-IT decision makers, seven out of 10 of the organizations surveyed stated they have implemented SMAC technologies.
Social media gives businesses a way to interact with their customers, while mobile technology enables individuals and organizations to communicate, work, and carry out financial transactions. And then we have Analytics, which provides businesses valuable insight into how all of the above data points can be used to respond to market changes as they take place. Lastly, the cloud brings it all together so they can be available anytime and anywhere.
The Gestalt of It All
While the individual impact of each component is undeniable in today’s ecosystem, companies that are able to put them together to create an IT solution that is greater than the sum of its parts will be poised to stay ahead of the game. This will require finding solution providers with the right expertise in all of these areas so each technology will complement each other with a comprehensive platform that eliminates the ineffective systems of siloed technology implementations of the past.
Cloud technology has lowered the cost of computing power, storage and bandwidth, which has far-reaching impact on many, if not most, business models. With cloud-hosted remote/virtual desktops, members of an organization can now access its resources from anywhere on PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and other devices with centrally managed and unmanaged access solutions.
The IT assets can be used more efficiently to address the specific needs of individual users and the organization while reducing operating costs with improved data security. Having almost everything residing in the data center means simplified management and support with fast upgrades and troubleshooting.
In a world where the workforce is no longer confined to one location and collaboration can take place from practically anywhere, application and desktop virtualization are valuable tools in bringing together all of the digital assets of an organization to help increase employee productivity.
Big Data Executives
Analytics is part of SMAC, but big data is not only confined to crunch customer data, and it is now in the boardroom with C-suite executives specifically designated to address the quantitative insights of all the operational aspects of the organization.
As data becomes an integral part of today’s businesses, these executives are needed to create value from the insight gained from the data, and mitigate or greatly minimize any damage caused by disruption of the aggregation process or security breaches.
Whether the analytics solution is being delivered by in-house personnel, partners or an outside vendor, digital leadership is required to assess key performance metrics that can only be evaluated with an executive that can make decisions based on the totality of the organization.
New Customer Relationship Management
A theme running amongst these technologies is their interrelation, which marks where the future of IT is heading. Every piece of technology an organization implements must have a holistic approach by considering how it will affect and be affected by everything else.
Social media monitoring and mobility has forever changed legacy CRM solutions, because today’s businesses have to deal with potential customers or prospect, existing customers, service and support by meeting or exceeding the accelerated expectation of the “I need to have it now consumer.”
According to a report released by Gartner in March of this year, SaaS CRM deployment will reach the tipping point in 2015, reaching a maximum of 80 to 85 percent by 2025. What this means is even SMBs will be able to access this technology, increasing the value of mobility, location based services, new modes of interaction and any innovation that acquires data from the customer.
The future of CRM will integrate the customer, product, price points, and complete distribution data along with other metrics to deliver an intuitive customer experience to accelerate sale cycles and give businesses the tools to make necessary changes much quicker than any other time.
A Final Word
Technology is allowing businesses to operate with increased efficiency across the board, but organizations have to accurately assess the benefits it provides by acquiring the necessary digital skill to use it effectively, not overestimating its potential, or making hasty decisions without the full complement of evidence.