Business | Digitize | 22nd December 2021 | Virtual Wire
Big Data, Blockchain and IoT are not just complicated words, but the future of business. Learn how to use them to improve the quality of your company.
Data is a business differentiator, helping you tell a customer the value of your goods and services. Data is valuable to your customers, but also to you. You, as the company that owns that data, are your own greatest asset, so it's up to you to consider how you want to use that data. Traditional business wisdom tells you that the first step to using data is to collect it, but by itself, that doesn't create value. This is because data itself doesn't have meaning. We call it meaningless data.
In other words, if you've created a piece of marketing collateral, such as an email campaign, and you collect data from it, and then you look at the data, you'll find that no one understands what it means. Or you might get value out of that data if you're able to find the missing link, where, for example, the email campaign is aligned with an actual conversion. If you're able to identify that, you can connect those dots and then you can make a conclusion about the underlying health of the customer relationship or the health of the campaign. But you can't make that conclusion if you have no data. That's why it's so important to consider how you'll store, organize, and consume data when you begin thinking about your digital transformation.
If you have an internet business, for example, you've likely got a website where customers are interacting with you. You should have a data centre to store all of that customer interaction data. This includes the data you collect from website visits and online sessions, as well as the data that comes from your web forms and from the product information you're providing to a customer. Your data centre should have a sophisticated search facility that's able to find and process that data so you can do useful things with it. For example, you might be able to identify which user's questions on your web forms are most frequently answered, and you can then use that information to promote the people who are most effective in delivering those answers.
Perhaps you're a bakery or a cafe. And you're not worried about a high level of website traffic, but rather you're worried about what comes in the door. Maybe you want to know who comes in your doors, who your loyal customers are, and who your least loyal customers are. You might also want to look at your purchase data to help you to make a strategic decision about your inventory and pricing. Now, in the past, you might have gathered all of this information manually, at one or two or perhaps three different locations in your business, and then put it all in one place. Then you would have created spreadsheets and dashboards to help you to make sense of it. But these old-school tools were essentially designed for spreadsheets, and they often weren't designed with the cloud in mind. And so it made it harder to get the kind of information you needed.
In short, the old-school approach didn't help you to make the most of the data you had, which means it wasn't helping you make the most of your company. Cloud computing allows you to now access a vast library of applications and services on any device at any time. So, you can access your data from anywhere. You can now easily and automatically build an email marketing campaign, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and a business intelligence system so you can perform analytics in a completely automated way. You no longer need to focus on the task of building, distributing, and maintaining the IT infrastructure. Cloud computing makes it all easier. Data is a business differentiator, helping you tell a customer the value of your goods and services. Data is valuable to your customers, but also to you. You, as the company that owns that data, are your own greatest data asset, so it's up to you to consider how you want to use that data.
Blockchain is also known as a distributed ledger, and it's a secure, encrypted, and decentralized, public transaction ledger where multiple parties can see and modify information in the same record. Blockchain can also help businesses improve their supply chain. By improving the security of those shipments, companies can ensure the products they're shipping are as expected and not misrepresented. Companies can also improve their customer service. Instead of waiting for customers to complain about their shipments, they can now intervene in advance to do a review and rectify any problems.
In short, the old-school approach to integrating these kinds of technologies into your business wasn't helping you make the most of the data you had, which means it wasn't helping you make the most of your company. That's why it's crucial to begin developing your digital transformation early and to begin integrating those technologies early. But don't do it just to be cool. By integrating the right technologies at the right time, you can ensure your business is both future-proof and helps make the business process more efficient.
When integrating technologies into the business, companies can best ensure the implementation of those technologies and their services work well with their existing IT infrastructure. The sooner they start the process, the less effort they'll need to make after they do. By developing a digital transformation initiative early, businesses can then choose the best technologies and technologies that will best enable them to make the most of their data, improve their sales, improve their customer service, and improve their supply chain. And that is a powerful combination of innovation and execution, and a powerful combination that you can only get when you move your business to the cloud.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are connecting our devices to the cloud. These devices are adding the power of the cloud to them so that we can access information or devices from anywhere. The world is full of billions of IoT devices, and they are changing how we live, work, and play. For instance, today, about 98% of adult furniture consumers use smart home solutions. And today's autonomous vehicles are changing how we travel. But the power of IoT will not stop with vehicles and furniture. IoT will change the world, and it will change everything. This is just the beginning, and the transformation will be profound. The cloud will play a key role.
Cloud Computing with Adaptive IoT
Many companies have moved into cloud computing to be able to build, maintain, and expand their services. Now they are coming to the realization that the cloud is not just about services or infrastructure, it's also about the data. The data is the business differentiator, and if you want to be able to use that data, you need to have a way to handle it, manage it, and store it in an efficient and secure manner.
In order to handle your data as it comes in, you need to manage it at every point of its lifecycle. This is where IoT comes into play, and you can think about adaptive IoT as the culmination of adaptive cloud. In conclusion, the adoption of IoT will enable companies to connect with all of the devices in their business environment and store the data in an efficient and secure manner. But to do that effectively, they need to adopt a cloud-based approach to IT that can help them support it.