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Blogg februari 01, 2016

THE FUTURE OF IT IS SHAPED BY DIGITAL BROKERS

In the digital transformation, we do not only see new ways of working and making business, we also see a new role forming for IT. Internal and external providers of IT will need to transform into either back-end suppliers of services or transform into a digital broker with a customer centric approach. When digitization transforms our market and organizations what will be the core aspects of a digital broker?

Our current market is being re-made in the cortex of three current revolutions that affect our technical, organizational and financial environment as a business. The technical revolution is the transformation to the cloud, where we see a hybrid phase at the moment, going from an on-Prem era to a Cloud era. The social revolution where individuals are connected in digital social networks do not only change the way we share ideas, it also changes how we work and cooperate. We see new companies being built that rely on a functional digital network. Finally, the financial revolution is at the dawn where we see the shared economy booming with companies like Uber, AirBnb among others.

Tomorrow’s winners will not only use the technical revolution as cloud, they will provide a network of resources to customers and also take benefit of the shared economy. IT departments and classic service providers (outsourcing) will need to transform into either a back-end supplier of services or transform into a digital broker with a customer centric approach.

"Gartner predicts that by 2017, 20% of all market leaders will lose their number one position to a company founded after the year 2000 because of lack of digital business advantage."

As a digital broker, you focus on four key areas:

  • Customer centric
  • Trusted Advisor
  • Innovation
  • Network and partners

A digital broker needs to excel in customer attention and customer service. You will need to customize products and services to the individual needs of the customer from where they are today to where they are going tomorrow. Your focus should be on customer relationship and in delivering products and services on time and above customer expectations. You have to see yourself as the customer’s guide to the digital future.

"As a digital broker, you will need to commit yourself to always put trust in the center of the relationship."

A digital broker needs to build and retain trust. Trust boils down to two specific qualities that you always need to strive to develop; competence and character. Competence is the skills you put in front of the customer to reach beyond their potential, character is the way you act and think in the relationship. As a digital broker, you will have to to commit yourself to always put trust in the center of the relationship. And act as an advisor in order to proactively spark ideas and challenge in all dimensions; strategical, tactical and operational.

"Innovation is the key differentiator in a connected market where everything is shared and everything is a common asset."

We are already existing in a connected market where everything is shared. This means that every company has the same possibilities to make the best of these shared assets. Our connected market has already made it possible to start a company without making investments in assets, and therefor can invest in market growth and innovation instead. When we move towards a connected market where more and more is being shared, it’s not a competitive advantage anymore to own a specific asset, an idea or employees. Innovation is the key differentiator in a connected market where everything is shared and everything is a common asset.

More organizations will involve multiple suppliers and their business relies on these partners’ ability to collaborate and collectively create value to the business. As a digital broker you will be measured by the quality of your network, your partners and your ability to cooperate to add greater value.

"The difference with a digital broker strategy, based on an extreme customer centric approach, is that you actually need to fulfill your promise beyond expectations."

Creating value for a customer, usually is a core value for most suppliers. The difference with a digital broker strategy, based on an extreme customer centric approach, is that you actually need to fulfill your promise beyond expectations. It will no longer be acceptable to make short term decisions in order to gain short term goals. Your characteristics must always put the customer first and always strive for a long term and trustworthy customer relationship. You give freely and get back trust, which will multiply your customers value and your own business.

Think beyond tomorrow – Take responsibility for today

Erik Brügge, Managing Director, Enfo Zipper