The innovator’s guide to the digital galaxy

By Laura Kelley,

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Far out in the uncharted backwaters of different industries sit what once were innocuous organizations — companies that stayed in their own spheres of influence and didn’t disrupt the flow of business as usual.

But now, they are capitalizing on existing and emerging technologies to expand their reach, open up new business models, and make products and services available in new industries — including yours.

You can’t see them yet, or call them by name, but you know they’re out there, eyeing your customers, employees and every unspent dollar, euro and yen in your marketplace. This trend is keeping CEOs and line-of-business leaders up at night. Worldwide, nearly 70 percent of C-suite members expect industry convergence to increase over the next few years.

Rise to the reinvention challenge

Leaders are responding by reinventing. Eighty-two percent of CEOs expect to digitally engage more in the next three to five years. In marketing, 84 percent of CMOs are looking for better ways to physically and digitally engage customers. And, CHROs say employee experiences will be their top investment priority in 2017.

However, in a digital galaxy where virtually anything can be had with a couple clicks on a smart device, the winners will be those that deliver truly exceptional experiences.

The proof is out there. For example, Diabetizer experienced the impact firsthand when it turned its online diabetes management platform into a mobile experience, moved its infrastructure to the cloud and added the IoT to tap more data. The solution not only empowered patients and provided doctors with better, more meaningful insights, but it cut operating costs by 30 percent.

Embrace your inner innovator

For CIOs, the new borderless marketplace is an unparalleled opportunity. More than ever, organizations need your IT vision and know-how. With tighter and more productive partnerships across lines of business, you can quickly make a big impact without creating new and unnecessary risk. Innovators are already forging new technology combinations to connect every part of their business, improve processes, reimagine customer experiences and transform the way people work.

For example, take Mears Group, a leading UK-based housing and repairs provider. Fusing mobile, social, analytics and cognitive technologies, Mears united employees on a single platform for better collaboration and service execution. Customers are delighted. Employees are satisfied and productive. The company now gets operational insights 96 percent faster than before and has managed to reduce mobile hardware procurement costs by 80 percent. Now that’s a win — and it started with a laser focus on experiences.

5 keys to CIO success

Of course, championing your company’s digital transformation while managing the day-to-day can be a daunting task. Today, reinvention must be agile, cost-effective and occur in lockstep with business as usual. Here are five steps to set yourself up for success:

  1. Start with strategy: According to a KPMG survey of CIOs, only 35 percent of companies have an enterprise-wide digital strategy. Align yours with corporate objectives and include road maps for cloud, mobile and IoT.
  2. Ramp up intelligence and insight: 44 percent of IT leaders will invest in advanced analytics and cognitive capabilities to help them extract real-time meaning from data.
  3. Emphasize engagement: 81 percent of companies are increasing digital engagement. Differentiate with relevant, contextual, personalized experiences that are available anytime, anyplace from any device.
  4. Reimagine experiences: Forrester noted that 60 percent of Chinese users on WeChat, a messaging app-turned-services ecosystem, open it 10 times a day. With consumers consolidating their mobile time on fewer apps, how can you transform to capture more mobile moments?
  5. Create an agile culture: 90 percent of leading CIOs enable an agile environment that capitalizes on cloud and DevOps to deliver rapid innovation at scale. Be one of them.

With the right vision, plan and partners, you can empower continuous digital reinvention that allows your business to survive and thrive — no matter which digital galaxy it ventures into.

This article was originally published on Mobile Business Insights.