In my enterprise mobile research, I’ve discovered that companies only become mobile-empowered businesses when the company redesigns its existing business processes. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Avanade in New York about mobility and how businesses are redesigning work to take advantage of everything mobility has to offer. Avanade conducted a survey with Wakefield Research in October 2013. It surveyed 1,000 C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT decision makers, across the globe. The survey revealed:

  • Business buyers are willing to pay up to 30 percent more for a product or service that offers an improved customer experience.
  • Sixty-one percent of business decision-makers report third-party sites and feedback from business partners, industry peers or social channels is more important than conversations with a company’s sales teams when making a purchasing decision.
  • Seventy percent of respondents believe technology will primarily replace human interaction with customers in the next 10 years.

In my discussion with Avanade’s Chief Growth Officer, Ashish Kumar, he highlighted how each of the trends listed above are changing business. Business buying behavior is changing. Customer experience and peer recommendations are now part of the business-to-business buying processes not just the consumer buying process. Kumar stated that industry leaders become leaders by having more roles within an organization involved in selling and improving the product. Businesses are using collaboration tools to become more connected and to improve the end customer’s experience.

This doesn’t happen without a change to existing business processes. This is where I see mobility and collaboration truly changing business. As companies look to mobile-enable applications, it’s the perfect time to redesign your business processes to support new customer demands. Kumar said many companies are changing business processes to enable a seamless flow of information across the company to provide a 360-degree view of the customer.

Second, he noted that, “Growth is on the agenda.” The IT industry has focused on the notion of better, faster and cheaper for some time. Most of the technology initiatives we’ve embraced have enabled cheaper computing. Kumar states that this is changing. Leaders are talking more about creating better services faster. One reason for this change could be that we’ve focused intensely on cost optimization strategies over the past decade. If a business wants to be successful, the company must invest in IT initiatives that support growth, such as mobility and collaboration.

Mr. Kumar said leading businesses have designed metrics into the company’s projects from the outset so they can measure what’s working. These metrics demonstrated that companies that focused on B2B experiences are now outperforming their industry peers. Experience is now seen as a competitive advantage and (according to the survey) companies are willing to pay for it.

To wrap up our interview, Mr. Kumar offered three pieces of advice.

  1. Don’t wait. You need to act today and evolve your plan.
  2. Start with one process and work toward perfecting that.
  3. Growth isn’t the job of one department. A company needs to “bring the organization along with you.”

I agree with Mr. Kumar. It’s a time of unprecedented change in the world. Mobile, social, big data and cloud computing have created both technology and behavioral change. These technologies have changed both the future of work and life. Many businesses are waiting for things to slow down. What’s become clear over the past two years is that we are far from slowing down. In fact, change appears to be accelerating. We have the Internet of Things, 3D printing, collaborative economies and radical advancement in robotics and biotech.

What this means is that businesses have to have a two-pronged strategy. The first prong should focus on the long-term vision for growth. Essentially this answers the questions, “Who are we today and what type of company do we want to become?” The second prong of the strategy must focus on iterative innovation. Instead of fail fast, its experience fast and iterate fast. For example, you should start small and add functionality when designing a mobile app or new business process. This way the business can collect feedback and requests from employees and customers. The business needs to think of development cycles as several months, not six months or a year. Agility has emerged as the most powerful competitive weapon. Taking a cue from Andy Grove, I believe “Only The Agile Survive and Thrive”

Source: Forbes