In the ceaseless shuffle of the digital age, it’s easy for digital and communications service providers to forget that real people are at the centre of every commercial transaction. However, those people are increasingly resisting sellers and marketers grouping them together into rigidly defined customer segments, and are instead favouring a new digital buying experience that is personal.

Gartner touched on the need to better address this busi- ness-to-human (B2H) element, and highlighted other ways organisations can bring increased value within the digital business ecosystem in its report, “The Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015.”

What will be core to digital and communications service providers’ and other global enterprises’ strategies in the year ahead? According to Gartner, leaders, particularly within IT, must embrace the growth of intelligence everywhere if their organisations are to capitalise on digital business opportunities. The research firm believes that the disruptive power of “intelligence everywhere is quickly approaching, fuelled by advanced, pervasive and invisible analytics, context-rich systems and smart machines.”

Shifting Focus to Nexterday

Today, consumers and businesses are surrounded by more technology than ever. “Beyond the smartphones we rely on, computing power in our automobiles, clothing, light bulbs, toasters, thermostats and more are assisting us in almost everything we do,” noted Gartner in the report. There is a tremendous opportunity to use the data produced by this smarter technology, integrating and refining it, and to apply analytics to improve every aspect of business, from sales and marketing to IT operations and network and infrastructure management.

Most importantly, analytics can feed what Gartner called a “next-generation user experience.” Consumers’ digital buying preferences and service experiences are becoming highly individualised, trending sales and marketing efforts toward the “Segment of One.” Having grown accustomed to the on-demand purchasing and personalised engagement offered via cloud services, mobile and social media, today’s consumers now expect a similar experience from every business. This is especially true of Generation Cloud – the people who are maturing as buyers in a highly connected and digitally operated world.

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This trend is driving a move toward intelligent and moti- vational systems that deliver meaningful user experiences,” said Gartner. “The human is in the centre, surrounded by a network of smart devices, personal digital assistants, personalised information and dynamic processes, for example, which are all expected to understand context and act in concert to meet the greater needs of that person.”

The questions that now remain are: How do digital and communications service providers apply analytics across their business? And how do they use intelligence everywhere to effectively re-write their technology, sales and marketing, and service playbooks?

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