According to McKinsey, everyone wants to go digital but this means different things to different people. Going Digital some argue is really just a means of executing more efficiently, leveraging the various integrated and automated touch points to conduct business or personal transactions quickly and effortlessly. So speed and execution are two vital components for Going Digital. This places massive pressure on vendors supporting digital service providers to integrate and compress complex systems to support transaction activity expectations.
While evolving complex systems and sophisticated technology provide the horse power to support these digital services, paradoxically these systems are viewed, somewhat disingenuously, as commodity.
We are living in a ‘rent per use’ society as consumers move away from asset investment. Everything from cars to holiday homes to skiing equipment is consumed using a lease or on demand model. These “As a Service” models provide the perfect commercial model to deliver Digital Services.
The stakes are changing in the industry. First of all, we are seeing barriers to entry drop dramatically as business cases based with pay as you go operational models replace the need for large capex investments and financial commitments. The disruptive nature of affordable, complete and fit for purpose solution platforms and low upfront costs means that smaller companies can now enter the game and compete with large companies presenting digital services in new and exciting ways. Forbes has observed this trend stating – “Mobile technologies continue to evolve at a blistering pace. The rise of new platforms, coupled with a particularly low barrier to entry and growing customer demand, will fuel a natural evolution for companies of all shapes and sizes to incorporate highly sophisticated technology into mobile advertising and marketing.”
Secondly, we are seeing a new form of competition emerge for ‘As a Service’ suppliers. Customer Experience became a multi-million dollar solution generator as it hit the top priority lists for Mobile Operator Budget investment over the last decade as they woke up to the fact that it was key to customer satisfaction and retention. With the growing industry adoption of digital services, delivered as a service, greater emphasis will be placed on the provision of that Service. Vendors presenting ‘As a Service’ models to Digital Service Providers will compete on their ability to execute across complex systems. In a similar fashion to how the Mobile Operators matured and evolved their focus on the customer lifecycle and touchpoint interaction, ‘As a Service’ vendors will need to tune service provision at all stages of the delivery cycle. The real winners in this market will be those who manage to assemble all these functional parts and work out how to execute across them.