Over the past couple of years the way we consume technology has changed dramatically. People are no longer interested in ‘owning the asset’, increasingly migrating over to a ‘pay as you go’ model where they pay for what they consume. These consumers are also driving behaviour across the business world as companies follow similar buying habits around a ‘pay as you grow’ basis where OPEX business models are overtaking CAPEX for the first time ever. Leading the way in this ‘pay as you grow’ revolution are SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions, driven by the availability of big data, where spending is expected to surge to $50 billion by 2019. When implemented, this technology enables businesses to react to customer demand quickly and efficiently.
SMEs are consuming cloud based software solutions like Amazon Web Services, Sales Force CRM, webexpenses and HR systems at a rapid rate. As a result these firms are now snapping at the heels of the mid-market and enterprise space.
SME’s advantage over the larger firms is their speed to react and flexible approach. The mid-market’s journey into cloud tends to be a more hybrid model of both on-premise and public cloud.
However, due to legacy systems and existing investment, the enterprise market’s primary focus has traditionally been around an on-premise private cloud infrastructure.
Their approaches may be significantly different to that of the SME market but one thing they all have in common is the exponential growth in data and how we store, secure and access it.
Big, small, structured, unstructured. The complex data in today’s business is being processed in a variety of forms. Long gone are the days of rigid, simple column based spreadsheet data.
With a plethora of social media, CRM, real time and customer behaviour data available to us 24/7, firms need to find a way to filter out the meaningful information. In doing so enables them to identify and refine their value propositions to ultimately add real value to the customer.
This is where dynamic analytics and business intelligence tools need to take the lead, and deliver data that enables organisations to make decisions that differentiate them from competitors, by aligning with the needs of the customer on a real-time basis.
Companies that are disrupting traditional business models are all born out of, or have gathered success from the public cloud. Firms such as Uber, Dropbox, MailChimp, Hatched, Addison Lee, and Purple Bricks are all empowering the consumer by shortening the supply chain and changing the traditional route to market.
This model encourages a much more collaborative approach,continually utilising consumer data to ensure the value proposition remains aligned to the needs of the customer.
With most cyber security attacks on networks either coming from within a business or the hacking of private cloud infrastructure, organisations should be of the mind-set that data in the public cloud doesn’t necessarily need to mean it is less secure.
The landscape is changing fast and today’s businesses who wish to be here tomorrow need to have a strategy in place that ensures they remain relevant to their markets. Technology needs to be leading the charge and at the forefront of how they engage with customers whilst analysing data to assist in improving the ease of doing business.
The foundations of this has to be based on ‘What’s in it for the customer’ regardless of the technology adopted or industry targeted.
After all, the irony is the more advanced we get with technology and data analysis, people still buy from other people, and businesses need to understand that quite often, ‘Human-as-a-service’ is their biggest asset.