New technologies are often proclaimed as a tsunami – an extremely high wave from the sea that can drastically change the coastal landscape and environment from one moment to the next. However, Harry Boers, strategist at Macaw, argues that many new technologies are more like rippling waves. He advises businesses to take control of which wave they want to ride and which they don’t, and consider the impact.
Scarcity and bear market
Continuing with the wave analogy for a moment, we see the tide turning in the digital world every four to eight years, as a new undercurrent emerging with a lot of impact. First there was the ‘Nexus of Forces’, and then there was digital transformation. Now we find ourselves in the midst of the shift to the third tide: scarcity. Scarcity of people, resources and energy. When that’s combined with the current ‘bear market’ and falling share prices, action is called for.
Business plan 2023
Spotting good waves and undercurrents and successfully mastering them is a trial-and-error process. In the current market situation there’s no time to lose, though. The following elements therefore should not be left out of your plan for next year.
- Modernize and digitize. 2023 will be a year in which businesses will collapse and a clear distinction will emerge between the frontrunners and the laggards. Due to the changing market, businesses must adapt continuously and carry on modernizing and digitizing. In short, make sure you remain agile and resilient.
- Distinctiveness. The accelerated digital transformation due to COVID-19 and AI has created digital sameness. Businesses tend to focus on the same personas and the same technology stack and use the same channels. As a result, competitiveness has been greatly reduced and in some cases completely disappeared. The shortage of people, assignments and resources makes distinctiveness all the more important right now. Fix this by using creativity, personalization and tech to create a distinctive culture.
- AI-driven employee enablement. Your employees make the difference. To provide the best customer experience, you need to ensure that employees can work really efficiently. Give them the right assets and data when they need them.
- Composable business. Make sure you are able to adapt to change quickly, while business operations continue unimpeded and your people, assets and business value are protected. The IT landscape needs to be able to adapt quickly to reflect this, so don’t just focus on scalability, but on flexibility.
- Serendipity. This trend was announced last year by Steven van Belleghem and is indispensable in a world where so much is predictable and can be looked up. Van Belleghem shows that customers are a lot happier when they spontaneously come across something positive, and as a business you can capitalize on that.
In short, use data to check your customers, channels, portfolio and competitors. Invest in your culture, your people and customers. Be creative and boost your customer experience by surprising your customer in a positive way.