And, with the impact of disruptive technologies, RMS Bird Cameron director Andrew Sykes says to compete effectively, businesses must adapt and evolve quickly to respond to what is becoming the new “norm”.
According to Sykes, operationally this is being made easier by digital technologies such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other business intelligence (BI) systems that let businesses get a clearer view of who their customers are and how to target them. “However, culturally, this requires a significant shift in thinking,” Sykes stresses.
“Digital disruption aka business disruption can lead to competitive advantages through the ability to deliver better services faster, regardless of company size. It’s no longer a matter of the big fish eating the small fish but the fast fish eating the slow fish,” Sykes said.
Sykes says that digital disruption is occurring across many sectors, and the four primary enablers that are now maturing to facilitate change include cloud, mobile, social and big data, and he cites the latest thinkBIG study showing that business are increasingly investing in technology.
The study showed that 50% of respondents said they increased financial investment in the digital space in the last 12 months, with 46% of SME owners intending to make an increased financial investment in the digital space in the future.
“Competition for customers and share of wallet is intensifying and now, more than ever, business owners need to be better connected to customers with a real focus on sales planning as part of their overall business strategy,” Sykes says.
The study also found that 13% will launch web or mobile applications, 7% will launch mobile tools for employees, 8% will implement ERP or CRM systems, and just 8% will implement a cloud-based accounting system.
Comments Sykes: “At this stage it looks like this investment will continue to focus primarily on social and mobile and secondarily on big data or cloud, despite the many advantages and cost benefits of those technologies. Notwithstanding we expect that future investment in cloud will begin to pick up pace.
“Organisations can leverage social media by actively asking customers for their feedback. This can help drive a stronger relationship with the customer, as well as informing the company’s overall strategy. There is also potential to use social media to drive revenue and it should be an integral part of an omni-channel approach that aggregates all customer data.”