Once upon a time IT existed in companies to support business and keep things steady. Those days are gone. Today, IT is rapidly gaining foothold as the home of innovation and business disruption – and thanks to all things data-driven, becoming the likely go-to source of competitive advantage. Here are some fascinating real-world examples to get your IT-juices flowing.
From product business to platform economy
Honeywell, a known technology manufacturer for multiple industries and established 1906, introduced this year an online marketplace that lets buyers and sellers trade used aerospace parts. Trade of such parts is heavily regulated by authorities for security reasons. These transactions, which previously could take weeks to accomplish, are now executed in real time. And Honeywell, which was previously known for developing and manufacturing such parts, has found a new source of revenue and market data, which is perhaps even more valuable in the future.
Fully digital user experience
Amazon, originally known as an online bookstore, has recently launched multiple Amazon Go stores which use excessive video and sensor technology to provide a completely new customer experience for grocery shopping. As a customer, you’re only required to download an app, which you activate when entering the store. After that, all your actions are followed by magnitude of sensors. No need to ”beep” your shoppings – not even when leaving the store, as there are no cashiers. This has freed up employees to work in the store helping customers to find products.
Building better products and services with AI
Technology, data and AI are also changing the way products are designed. Even fashion houses are using analytics platforms, such as MakerSight to guide their design work. Stitch Fix, a company that provides personally curated fashion shopping online, employs astrophysicists to apply the same tools used to simulate the universe for predicting what kind of clothes you might like. Mackmyra, a Nordic distillery, has used AI to create 70 million recipes for whisky and to evaluate those against sales data and customer preferences – to create world’s first AI whisky. Companies like PepsiCo. and McCormick are using AI to create recipes without the biases of human beings.
Three plus one tips for a CIO how to implement the change
The role of the IT is clearly becoming more strategic, and more often it is working on initiatives facing outwards from the company, and towards the customers. For companies to be able to take advantage of this, the role of IT needs to change – it should not be working for the business, it should be working with the business.
Below I’ve listed three tips from lessons I’ve learned on how you can implement the change.
1. Start with a business challenge
Select and define the business opportunity or challenge you are looking to solve. If you start with technology, such as blockchain, you will probably end up in an endless cycle of proof of concepts and technology pivots.
2. Gather a multidisciplinary team
Form a multidisciplinary team to work on the challenge. This should include people from business, sales, marketing, customer service, operations, design and technology. Make sure they have common physical or digital space where they can collaborate continuously.
3. Let the team loose on the challenge
Give the team the business challenge with a clear business objective. Don’t try to define features, techs or other details. A good multidisciplinary team will probably give you a better solution than you will be able to define as a business owner.
And finally, as a bonus tip, make sure you look at already available technology solutions from companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft. There is quite a myriad of solutions readily available for instance analytics, AI and blockchain, and absolutely no need to build everything by yourself.
So what are you waiting for? By following above tips you can reorientate your IT investments to boost innovation and design future businesses.
Anna pienet aplodit!