The future is digital and it is now
What is undeniable is that we already are in an era of transformation, in which every single aspect of our life as a society is or will soon be impacted by digitization. Being digital implies having the ability to expand areas of operation and of value creation for each organization beyond their traditional space and has a profound change in the way companies interact, both between themselves and between them and their customers, clearing geographical barriers and quickly transforming some companies into global powerhouses.
To take advantage of this new environment it is necessary to have a deep knowledge of both all aspects of the company’s operation as well as of the current and emerging technologies, understanding where the latter can impact the former, forcing them to forever change. And it implies a profound knowledge and close monitoring of the buying cycle of one’s customers, ensuring that the organization is present in all phases of the decision process, the well-known Consumer Decision Journey. The keywords to understand this new reality are mobility, Cloud, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), SEM (Search Engine Marketing), Internet of Things (and its potential to disrupt industries, from healthcare to manufacturing, integrated content management, PPC (pay per click), responsive design, user experience, big data and analytics, amongst many other. Companies looking at seizing this opportunity need to move from a reactive strategy, in which they respond to requests from customers and partners, to an entirely new one, in which it is needed to know the consumer’s profile and be present in the communication channels where they are – from site to social networks, online shopping services and other. Furthermore, this is not a fact for businesses that sell to end users, the so-called B2B space (Business to Business) is also undergoing a profound digital transformation.
The new reality is omnichannel, and this new concept is a basis for the transformation that companies need to keep their relevance in a digital world. Being omnichannel means having a continuity of the consumer experience with a company in every contact held, being on the search within the site, on search engines as they look for a product or service, in the navigation done on the mobile phone that matches the visual information and content that the consumer has already identified, in the interaction held in social networks and in the phone and physical interactions. It is a challenge, and a great opportunity because, in a digital reality, both physical barriers and distance can be minimized, if not entirely eliminated, given the product or service addressed. This is a global change that derives from a new way of being, either in a work environment or in a social one.
To be digital brings huge opportunities, but also steep challenges, and forces the management to pay a special attention to potential new competitors or changes in consumer behaviour that disrupt their value chain, as it is the case with travel, services aggregators for price matching, the possibility of hiring services as you need them instead of staffing them, as it is the case of highly successful companies such as TalkDesk, a Portuguese company. To be digital can even turn a company or service entirely irrelevant and it is fundamental to understand that digital can create new competitors, from areas that are not within the traditional analysis of organizations, as it is the case of one of the most frequently mentioned cases, of Uber within the traditional taxi services.