The Internet Enterprise: Ushering new technology standards to adapt to changing customer behavior in the connected world
We’re living in a world where customer engagement extends to so much more than welcoming back a returning customer. Today, a consumer can make purchases, perform financial transactions, and interact with their social network, all independent of location as well as with the convenience of one or more mobile devices. The trifecta of social, mobile and globalization has created a new online playing field creating new winners and losers. In this world, access is easy, selections are mind-boggling and a customer can either select you or your competition in microseconds. This digital world is infringing fast onto the real world, and along with it many traditional industries are being violently disrupted.
Internet companies like Amazon and Google recognized early on that to deliver on their promises, their technology infrastructure must harness data in ways never before possible. It was the central ingredient in their DNA. With this backbone, they ushered in a digital world that would fundamentally impact human behavior and industries. To this point, Netflix, the world’s leading streaming media provider, put Blockbuster out of business because they could not adapt their traditional business to modern customer demands. According to Mary Meeker at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Netflix today has 44 MM subscribers and projects a 25% subscription increase in the coming year while there are no longer any Blockbuster stores in your neighborhood. This is just one example of how the digital world created by Amazon and Google is continuing to force traditional, brick and mortar businesses to reinvent themselves or risk becoming obsolete.
The ability to pull off this difficult feat—to jump from the traditional to the digital world—is what separates high performers from those whose time at the top is all too brief. To reclaim their territory and avoid being eroded in the market, traditional businesses must infuse the same digital DNA of Amazon and Google into their everyday operations. When they do this, they will become an Internet Enterprise.
Here lies the age of the Internet Enterprise – customer-focused traditional enterprises that infuse the data driven DNA created by companies born in the digital age into their technology infrastructure to deliver the capability and flexibility needed to compete and win in the digital age. Progressive companies that are succeeding as Internet Enterprises are successfully using the data they have at hand to create compelling user experiences and encouraging their customers to take action and come back again.
Organizations that evolve into an Internet Enterprise leverage the power, flexibility and capabilities that are needed to win in today’s digital age. I recently published a point of view on how companies can transform their traditional business to an Internet Enterprise. Understanding how we need to challenge long-held assumptions on developing and delivering products and services with an eye toward competitive edge is key to success in this new age.