Ever wonder what force propels new-age startups to grow exponentially faster than traditional companies? Many traditional companies, like General Electric, GM and IBM took decades to become industry giants and reach $1 billion in revenues- but startup unicorns like Airbnb, FB, Amazon and Google barely took 3-5 years to reach that magic $1 billion mark.
Come to think of it – what factors contributed to the fast-paced growth of these new-age companies, while many traditional companies failed to take off straightaway? You guessed right – the application of new technologies to business processes, to empower decision-making. In an interview with Forbes, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, underscored this crucial point, stating “every company is a technology company.”
Essentially, this means that, just like any ISV (independent software vendor), every non-technology company — whether it’s in the technology business or not — must embrace new technologies in order to stay competitive. There is no other way for a business to survive, much less thrive.
The million-dollar question
Here’s the million-dollar question: Does this mean that every company must become a tech company? The answer is simple: Yes. Forbes states that this is imperative, due to “the speed of digital innovation followed by ever-changing consumer expectations.” This is especially true in our digital economy, which is rapidly entering the next phase of technological evolution, the era of intelligent enterprises capable of leveraging machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain and the internet of things to perform better, faster and smarter.
The common underlying factor in the success of the unicorns discussed above is that each one is an ‘Intelligent Enterprise’ – a term that was rarely in use at the time these companies were founded. They understood that data is the lifeblood of any company, and infusing analytics into every business process and every customer touch-point is crucial to making real-time, impactful decisions. The diagram below illustrates the flow of data in the Intelligent Enterprise:
While I agree that data alone will not give your business a competitive advantage, it can enable customer-facing teams to gain a better understanding of the customer expectations and behaviors, allowing them to build or adjust their game plan on the go!
Why is this important at this point in time? Because it is the Intelligent Enterprises that are going to grow. IDC predicts that “by 2022, over 60% of global GDP will be digitized with growth in every industry driven by digitally enhanced offerings. Organizations must look to leverage data and become technology companies to compete. It is part of the process required to constantly innovate, reinvent, modernize, and break into new markets and deliver new products.”
Digital Transformation is the single path leading to becoming an Intelligent Enterprise. Becoming an Intelligent Enterprise is an essential step toward exponential growth. Have you taken your first step in this process? Are you prepared to reap the benefits your data offers? Are you ready to embed analytics into every process in your organization?
What are your thoughts? Let me know.
By: Venkat Nanduri