Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Digitizing Beds - Is Your Enterprise in Jeopardy of Digital Transformations?

Coin operated vibrating beds!!!!
In a recent report I read titled Q3 2013 iPass Mobile Workforce Report, mobile workers (1,375 of them) reported hotel WiFi was as important as a comfortable bed.  Seventy-four percent say a bad WiFi experience in a hotel would prevent a return visit.  BAM!

Competition among hotels over who has the most comfortable beds just got digitized!  In a flash, the competitive arena changed from beds to WiFi and beds. It is happening all around us today.  The problem is many three-year strategic plans don't anticipate this rate and pace of change and digital transformation.

I see digital transformations in retail banks today.  Banks have been investing in interior designers, foot-traffic experts, retail and customer service gurus and neighborhood banks blessed with good feng shui (a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing the human existence with the surrounding environment), but no one is going to banks any more.  The competitive arena moved to the mobile retail banking apps and mobile banking services.  BAM!

How would you like to be in the paper map making business, or even a dedicated GPS device company like Garmin or TomTom?  BAM!  The maps are digitized and the GPS is in your smartphone.

The insurance industry is also experiencing major digital transformations globally.  Traditional brokers and agents, and even claims adjusters, are being displaced by mobile apps, call centers and websites. BAM! Insurance companies are hesitant to embrace the digital transformation for fear of alienating their traditional sales channels, but the digital and mobile public are migrating there rapidly.

The retail industry is struggling to understand the best strategy for responding to shoppers who use their smartphones in stores to comparison shop.  How do you prevent people from taking a picture of a book and then ordering it from Amazon?  If I see a good book on the shelf, I want to know if it comes recommended, if it is available in paperback and are there good used copies to be found for less?  I can't get that today by looking at the shelf.  BAM!

Last week I was in Copenhagen, Denmark with a hankering for Indian food.  I used my iPhone to search for Indian food and found a number of restaurants listed.  As I was walking to a location listed on the map I passed several Indian restaurants.  These restaurants were in digital blind spots.  They did not appear on Google's search engine, and they lost my business.  BAM!

I just recently discovered my DirecTV is available on my iPad.  Who knew?  I can watch my recorded shows from anywhere in the house on my iPad while pretending to watch re-runs of West Wing or Pitch Perfect for the 18th time with my family.  BAM!  My big screen TV just got less cool since it is fixed to my wall and must be shared with others.

I can image a scenario where restaurants must change the way they operate because of digital transformation.  Perhaps you are in a food court environment and you can pull up the individual menus of all restaurants in the building and aggregate them automatically into one giant menu.  You can now pick a hamburger from one place, fries from another and a Milkshake from still another.  You purchase through your mobile app, and the food is delivered to your table.  You can unlock food choices and options from paper menus and customize your own meal.  You could then create your own food favorites list.  BAM!  Just like in the music business where you can purchase one song at a time and create your own play lists.

In the lobby of my medical doctor's office, they are promoting their new electronic patient records system and the benefits it offers patients.  This is huge! BAM! If any of you have had to deal with multiple doctors, multiple tests, multiple locations, multiple prescriptions and multiple treatments, then you already know how obviously valuable electronic patient records and how much potential there is for positive benefits.  I would change doctors to get the listed benefits!  The competitive environment suddenly is shifting from bedside manners to digital capabilities.

I would encourage everyone in every industry to take a long hard look at what SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) trends and digital transformations are doing and will do to the traditional way your business operates and how this will impact the competitive landscape of your industry.

For more information on digital transformation and how these changes are impacting industries, markets and businesses, I would invite you to visit, www.unevenlydistributed.com.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.