Delivering innovative digital products can help businesses satisfy customers and create stronger competitive differentiation, notes Farhad Suleman, CEO, SimpliConnect. Organisations that can take the next step and transform their software innovation into value engines will spawn additional business value such as data monetisation, new partnerships or entrance into new markets.
That’s according to an IDC report entitled ‘Top 10 Predictions for the Future of Innovation’. However, it’s easier said than done, because there are a plethora of technologies that businesses have to choose from today. In 2022, I believe businesses should focus on six key technological areas which will set businesses apart from the rest and help to ensure long-term longevity, survival and dynamism.
The first area is digital enablement, the process of streamlining business operations using a variety of digital solutions. This indirectly implies digital transformation, which is a phrase that is bandied around by many tech giants. However, in its truest sense digital enablement is a way to build organisational capabilities to support the increasingly discerning digital and on-demand customer. Focusing on the end customer, their needs and how to streamline meeting these needs efficiently will inevitably translate into accelerated organisational growth.
While digitising business certainly results in a number of efficiencies, one must not lose sight of the importance of creating trust in a digital world. Although customers can be precisely targeted using digital tools based on demographics, the challenge lies in gaining and retaining trust. Customers must know that their data is safe with you and consent to you having it. They must also feel that your digital platform is safe to transact on when it comes to any kind of purchasing.
Change – still a constant
Third, adapting to change. We all know that change is a constant – do you have contingency plans for unprecedented events? Are your products and services evolving to meet changing needs? Organisations must have systems and processes in place to support new on-demand customers and fulfil their needs. This goes hand-in-hand with scenario planning, disaster management and digital enablement.
To date the Internet is the largest decentralised communication system created. Looking ahead to Web 3.0, the aim is to decentralise the Internet and make it more verifiable by connecting software directly with users and removing the need for intermediaries. As it stands the Internet can be seen to be trust-less, self-governing, distributed and permissionless. So, I view Web 3.0 as the fourth technology that will change the way businesses operate.
Fifth, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). NFTs are composed of a unique unit of data linked to the blockchain. Digital art is a good example of this. I feel this will influence the future of how products are brought or even traded in the future. Over and above this, NFTs could allow the monetisation of loyalty platforms or perhaps even aggregate and underpin multiple rewards programmes to offer shoppers rewards that have a specific value and can be redeemed for anything from any one merchant globally.
Finally, Decentralised Autonomous Companies (DACs) turn the traditional organisation structure on its head by offering real, equitable and agile frameworks for the companies of the future. Companies looking to scale could use tokenisation to get stakeholders on board to build the company and share in the decision making, profits and ultimately the future of the company – free from traditional venture capital and private equity funding and the associated constraints.