Technology is no longer about numbers on a report or spreadsheet - it is about touching and reaching your customers (whenever and wherever they are), by “delivering superior experiences,” according to former Coles CIO and tech veteran, Conrad Harvey.
“Our digital world requires new sophisticated capabilities delivered through technology that must be flexible, affordable and deliver superior experiences,” Harvey told a packed crowd of attendees gathered at the Computerworld and AppDynamics Exchange Breakfast in Melbourne.
“Your customers are trained on Apple user interfaces and Google Search and Google Translate and don’t tolerate poor experience - they just move to the next experience.”
Harvey, who’s currently the managing director of Certanti and executive director of Harvey Digital, told attendees during his keynote address, “IT at the Speed of Thought,’ how the IT landscape has dramatically changed - and the pressure on IT leaders is immense.
“Now is one of the toughest times to be in technology, but also one of the most exciting times,” he revealed. “The real challenge is we have to deliver the perfect storm in digital technology. We have to deliver things that are flexible, so they can respond to new business threats and new business models. We have to deliver things that are cheaper because not only do those new business threats come with new models, but they also come with new price points.”
He said there’s heightened competition from all fronts including pressure from the digital savvy entities like “the sophisticates such as Amazon, who have rich data and insights”, from the “barriers falling” players like Uber, as well as from the “simples like Aldi” that simplify the supply chain and offer discount items with lean prices.
“As technology barriers have dropped, it is possible for somebody to start an ecommerce website in a day. That could potentially take a portion of your market away - and so you need to be able to deliver your technology solutions to the businesses that you work in, in a way that doesn’t erode their margin unnecessarily.”
Indeed, customer engagement has fundamentally changed, he said, explaining how not long ago, even at the beginning of the Internet, customers were mass marketed.
“Our communication with our customers was broadly either through our product sales or through broad mechanisms such as media, television, even websites in those days were digital ad banners and ad boards rather than tailored messages and experiences. We got a lot smarter when we started to use our sales data to work out how to segment our customers into individual groups, and then be able to think about how we might tailor their experiences, either in store or online, to meet the needs of those groups slightly differently.”
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