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Thinking outside of your business

Jon Allaway, Accenture's global group technology officer for financial services | April 13, 2015
The digital era means a wide variety of businesses should think about how to jointly offer connected suites of services that customers want.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Businesses need to work together. It is unlikely that any business will be able to take full advantage of the potential of digital technologies alone. Instead, they should look to partner with others to form a digital ecosystem and create what we call the "we economy". Accenture Technology Vision 2015, our annual outlook of the technology trends that we believe will have the greatest impact on enterprises during the next three to five years, notes that pioneering companies are tapping into each other's digital businesses, customers and even devices to expand their joint business potential.

It doesn't have to be complex. It just has to be what customers want. Take mobile payments. Accenture recently conducted a payments study in North America, which found that merely making new technology available to consumers is not enough to woo them to the service. However, an example of an additional offering that three in five respondents said they would like to see is a receipt-tracking capability on their phone, along with improved financial management tools to help them keep track of payments.

This is useful to the customer, the retailer and the bank, and creates incentives for multiple industries to work together. But it requires innovation.

The possibilities of new, faster more convenient services for customers should be inspiring to CIOs.

Trusted banks, telcos and retailers could become part of one ecosystem that -- if a customer agreed -- collected data around location, monthly spending, shopping habits and more to make targeted offers for consumers.

For example, a bank will know that its customer just received his or her pay cheque as they walk into the vicinity of a retailer in their ecosystem. By receiving location data from smartphone apps they are associated with, retailers can push a relevant coupon to an individual's smartphone offering a discount off an item if it is bought in the next hour. This would encourage users to enter a store and make a purchase while there is still some disposable income available.

By taking into account key statistical data that telcos can provide for a retail environment -- such as the average day and time of the week that most women between the ages of 22 and 30 with an average income of $30,000 are shopping - the ecosystem is at its strongest and can be used for real-time, analytical and planning activities.

This could happen across industries. Accenture is already working with Visa to develop a connected car proof-of-concept that enables customers to order and pay for a Pizza Hut meal directly from their car, using location services to let the restaurant know when the vehicle had arrived to pick up the order.

 

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