Monday, April 06, 2015

Communications not Product and Services is the 21st Century Opportunity. Part 1

Part 1: 
How did we arrive to where we are today?

It now seems a lifetime away when we started our technology journey which we w all take for granted today. Back in ’68 there were only 32 computers in the whole of Sheffield and we can even remember the companies, the computers and what they were capable of. The explosion of computing that followed was first aimed at companies and institutions and automating the numbers and providing the information in near to real time as possible.

PCs and networks then changed the landscape and importantly companies became aware of the huge waste created across the Supply Chains and started to migrate from, ‘slipping notes under closed doors’ with trading their partners to communicating and sharing information with them. Supply Chain Management opened up communications through EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) standards and technology. Home computing was also born albeit over extremely poor network services.

Business then started to look hard at their value chains and their core functions and where they added value. Technology was still see as a generic function but it started to deliver effective ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and later CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions, which were no longer bespoke but packed and configurable. Outsourcing non-core activity became a given. IT finally started to break through the board room glass ceiling and CIOs (Chief Information Officers) and CTOs  (Chief Technology Officers) became common seats around the table. The Internet was born and networks started to move from dirt tracks to super highways and deliver and mobile communications, laptop PCs and consumer technology took off.

Then came two major and significant seismic shifts in the form of mobile communications technology and mobile applications. Social networking became something that impacted all; first the individual both young and old and then the corporate, institution and public entity. This explosion of demand was further fuelled by rapid advances in network technology and the emergence of truly mobile devices. We were all permanently switched on and desired to communicate and carried our computer around in our pocket. Where we and other ‘friends’ were, what we are doing and with whom and our thoughts was now often now just a click away.

Harnessing all this mass of information and creating ‘Big Data’ opportunities is now a business in itself.

Computing was no longer owned by the corporate, even warfare was being waged over the airwaves as much as the battlefield. Fame could be instantaneous at the individual level and commercial success was often no longer reliant on huge marketing budgets and programmes alone.

Today commercial businesses now no longer just have a web presence and ecommerce, but an array icons splattered in their sites to link them to every social network where they also have their own presence. We have Blogs, videos, and tweets to promote their products, services and values. In this multi-dimensional world text is no longer enough and communications is no longer one way. We have a new breed of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and analytic services knocking on every door and customer and market insight programmes are the buzz.

So where exactly are you today and more importantly where are you going tomorrow and how do you we achieve that journey?

How should businesses organise themselves for the Communications World of tomorrow?

Tomorrow we will give our thoughts what we believe is one of the greatest challenges today and into the near future.

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