Collaborative Economy – Customer Appreciation Day

Collaborative Economy – Customer Appreciation Day

Part 2 – Collaborative Economy – Customer Appreciation Day

This is part 2 of a 2-part post on disruptive technologies and the collaborative economy. Click To Read Part 1

Customer Appreciation Day

Customer Appreciation Day. Signs bearing this message have appeared regularly in store windows and print ads throughout the decades past – a well-intentioned effort to reinvigorate customer loyalty by demonstrating that for one day per year at least, the customer is truly appreciated; which begs the question, how do retailers feel about their customers the rest of the year? In truth, of course, the customer has always been portrayed as “king,” but power was measured in macro-vision, with stores and suppliers responding to requests or complaints over weeks, months or years, and always in line with their own projections of trends and fashions. The customer was king in name only.

customer-appreciation

Customers, retailers and suppliers exist now in an age of disruptive technology, where real-time access to cloud-based communication and big data has shifted the power balance by 180 degrees and has truly put him/her in charge; and more specifically each individual customer is now king, rather than the collective customer base. This increased level of access and interaction has led to major changes to the speed by which reaction to a customer and innovation happen; and it also challenges the silo mentality of the traditional Business-to-Consumer model, resulting in some innovative collaborations.

Take car manufacturers, for example. They are just one of many big-ticket item suppliers who have recognized that many consumers in the younger demographic are just not buying cars like their elders did. A combination of a shaky economy, bleak job prospects and a heightened sense of mobility and independence have moved younger customers away from long-term commitments such as car payments into shorter, just-in-time relationships with car-sharing services such as Car2Go, AutoShare and ZipCar, where cloud-based reservation and payment systems give greater choice and flexibility. In a fascinating demonstration of the collaborative economy at work, traditional car manufacturers such as Toyota are starting to offer rentals from their dealerships, while Dodge is calling upon family and friends to pitch in towards the cost of a new Dart through crowdsourcing.

Banks such as ING are providing networking and small business virtual offices for their customers and prospects, and airlines are teaming up with taxicab companies to become group carpooling matchmakers.

Retailers and organizations are recognizing that the future of customer relationships is based on individual data gathering and collaboration, especially data that can be gathered through techniques such as gamification, in which customers are invited to log on to a retailer’s website through their FaceBook account, which opens up a whole collection of likes and habits that can be used to create a customized experience. Imagine, for example, a business traveler, landing at JFK airport, receiving a custom text from her favorite running shoe company stating, “Hey, welcome to New York! Since you enjoy open-air running so much, we have sent you a map of an excellent running route through the Upper East Side, close to Central Park. By the way, click here to download some excellent running tunes that match your existing musical likes, and a scannable barcode for a free post-run coffee.” This approach requires dynamic, real-time intelligence on individual tastes and buying habits, and simultaneously demands seamless crossover between vendors of different, yet complementary consumables.

This direct and collaborative relationship between the customer and the supplier is now being referred to as ZeroDistance, and it has implications well beyond traditional retail. Employers, too, are starting to recognize that customer demand has equivalence within the workforce, as more and more employees seek a more flexible and personalized approach to work that includes flex-time, telecommuting and using their own computers and apps (BYOD) rather than company-issued tools. Those who do not see progress in these areas are likely to turn to an unprecedented collection of job-finding and freelancing resources, where yet another layer of the collaborative economy exists, with freelancers providing their skills to employers anywhere in the world.

Simply put, this is all about the consumer bypassing traditional inefficiencies to become the company, which has to be of great interest and concern to any CIO who now sees him/herself like the captain of a schooner, caught in a wild storm on the Niagara River: wind and rain in all directions, masts and booms flailing left and right, while the Falls themselves draw ever closer. The security and reliability of IT must co-exist in careful balance with the need for extreme market agility and reactiveness to customers inside and outside the organization. IT must now start to represent more than just the nuts and bolts of a network, while the marketing department itself must become more real-time data driven; IT faces the grim reality that users are opting for uncontrolled SaaS applications to solve immediate problems (e.g. cloud-based apps), while the various Lines of Business within an organization demand explanations as to why market formation is not coming in fast enough.

ZeroDistance provides an opportunity for a CIO to eliminate the gap between him/herself and the rest of the organization. By mirroring the results of ZeroDistance between customer and supplier, the CIO stands to take on a role as a central architect of a company’s future: a navigator rather than a mechanic. As the C-Suite observes the profound changes occurring in the a wholly customer-driver big data economy, it must recognize that now, more than ever, the silos that defines each officer’s role are as dated as that “Customer Appreciation Day” sign in the window.

By Steve Prentice

Sponsored by T-Systems and the Zero Distance community

About Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.

Find out more
View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comic
Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

Protecting Devices From Data Breach: Identity of Things (IDoT)

How to Identify and Authenticate in the Expanding IoT Ecosystem It is a necessity to protect IoT devices and their associated data. As the IoT ecosystem continues to expand, the need to create an identity to newly-connected things is becoming increasingly crucial. These ‘things’ can include anything from basic sensors and gateways to industrial controls…

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

Why Security Practitioners Need To Apply The 80-20 Rules To Data Security

The 80-20 Rule For Security Practitioners  Everyday we learn about yet another egregious data security breach, exposure of customer data or misuse of data. It begs the question why in this 21st century, as a security industry we cannot seem to secure our most valuable data assets when technology has surpassed our expectations in other regards.…

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Are CEO’s Missing Out On Big Data’s Big Picture?

Big Data’s Big Picture Big data allows marketing and production strategists to see where their efforts are succeeding and where they need some work. With big data analytics, every move you make for your company can be backed by data and analytics. While every business venture involves some level of risk, with big data, that risk…

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? You know how enterprise resource management (ERP) can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and…

THE FUTURE OF BIG DATA AND DNS ANALYTICS

THE FUTURE OF BIG DATA AND DNS ANALYTICS

Big Data and DNS Analytics Big Data is revolutionizing the way admins manage their DNS traffic. New management platforms are combining historical data with advanced analytics to inform admins about possible performance degradation in their networks. Not only that, but they also have the ability to suggest ways to optimize network configurations for faster routing.…

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

What You Need To Know About Choosing A Cloud Service Provider

Selecting The Right Cloud Services Provider How to find the right partner for cloud adoption on an enterprise scale The cloud is capable of delivering many benefits, enabling greater collaboration, business agility, and speed to market. Cloud adoption in the enterprise has been growing fast. Worldwide spending on public cloud services will grow at a…

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Staying on Top of Your Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security Responsibilities

Infrastructure-as-a-Service Security It’s no secret many organizations rely on popular cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft for access to computing infrastructure. The many perks of cloud services, such as the ability to quickly scale resources without the upfront cost of buying physical servers, have helped build a multibillion-dollar cloud industry that continues to grow each…

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design

How Big Data Is Influencing Web Design For all you non-techies… You’re probably wondering what big data is (I know I was….a few years back) so let’s get the definitions out of the way so we’re on the same page, okay? Big data is A LOT of data – really, it is. It is a…

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

The Monstrous IoT Connected Cloud Market

What’s Missing in the IoT? While the Internet of Things has become a popular concept among tech crowds, the consumer IoT remains fragmented. Top companies continue to battle to decide who will be the epicenter of the smart home of the future, creating separate ecosystems (like the iOS and Android smartphone market) in their wake.…

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

The Future Of Work: What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us To Do Better

What Cloud Technology Has Allowed Us to Do Better The cloud has made our working lives easier, with everything from virtually unlimited email storage to access-from-anywhere enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. It’s no wonder the 2013 cloud computing research IDG survey revealed at least 84 percent of the companies surveyed run at least one cloud-based application.…

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Surprising Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry

Facts and Stats About The Big Data Industry If you start talking about big data to someone who is not in the industry, they immediately conjure up images of giant warehouses full of servers, staff poring over page after page of numbers and statistics, and some big brother-esque official sat in a huge government building…

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

Who’s Who In The Booming World Of Data Science

The World of Data Science The nature of work and business in today’s super-connected world means that every second of every day, the world produces an astonishing amount of data. Consider some of these statistics; every minute, Facebook users share nearly 2.5 million pieces of content, YouTube users upload over 72 hours of content, Apple…

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise Of BI Data And How To Use It Effectively

The Rise of BI Data Every few years, a new concept or technological development is introduced that drastically improves the business world as a whole. In 1983, the first commercially handheld mobile phone debuted and provided workers with an unprecedented amount of availability, leading to more productivity and profits. More recently, the Cloud has taken…

Expert Insights Into The Yahoo Breach

Expert Insights Into The Yahoo Breach

Yahoo Breach Latest reports suggest that the recent Yahoo! data breach may exceed 500 million records, with some sources implying millions more records penetrated, upping the total number of records stolen in various recent hacks to approximately 3.5 billion. CloudTweaks spoke to Kevin O’Brien, CEO of GreatHorn, for expert insight into this latest violation. GreatHorn…

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Using Private Cloud Architecture For Multi-Tier Applications

Cloud Architecture These days, Multi-Tier Applications are the norm. From SharePoint’s front-end/back-end configuration, to LAMP-based websites using multiple servers to handle different functions, a multitude of apps require public and private-facing components to work in tandem. Placing these apps in entirely public-facing platforms and networks simplifies the process, but at the cost of security vulnerabilities. Locating everything…

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Big Data’s Significant Role In Fintech

Data Banking Fintech covers a range of financial fields such as retail banking, investments, and lending and thanks to the mobile and internet innovations of late is a thriving sector. Offering improvements which drive customer satisfaction and education in an area previously inscrutable and dictated by gigantic inflexible corporations, fintech is helping put the power…

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Battle of the Clouds: Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant

Multi-Instance vs. Multi-Tenant The cloud is part of everything we do. It’s always there backing up our data, pictures, and videos. To many, the cloud is considered to be a newer technology. However, cloud services actually got their start in the late 90s when large companies used it as a way to centralize computing, storage,…

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Infographic: 9 Things To Know About Business Intelligence (BI) Software

Business Intelligence (BI) Software  How does your company track its data? It’s a valuable resource—so much so that it’s known as Business Intelligence, or BI. But using it, integrating it into your daily processes, that can be significantly difficult. That’s why there’s software to help. But when it comes to software, there are lots of…