Fact – The Enterprise buys solutions(.) … Not Software.
Gone are the days when you could razzle dazzle your customers to buy software they did not need. Shelf-ware is a thing of the past and that is good. To sell solutions though, one needs to expand your knowledge base past the boundaries of your product and into the domain of your customer’s business, so you can start adding value to their world; helping them solve problems they have and better still helping them see around corners to prevent problems from manifesting in the first place.
It’s a chapter in my book … Be The Expert. One needs to be an expert in both your domain and the domain of your customers … and take them seriously enough to play a proactive role in their life; helping them take care of their concerns. Now you have a client.
Customers are limited to transacting with you. Clients have trust in your thinking and faith in your ability to help them create a better future.
In the domain of Enterprise IT; the need for Business Experts who understand how they can use technology to solve today’s problems is greater than ever. The Holy Grail though is to help your clients see what’s possible and help them change how they do business so they can leverage the changes in technology; in essence help them shape tomorrow’s economic landscape.
Said differently, Our technology is fast outpacing our business practice. The Enterprise needs help and guidance on how they alter business practice to leverage technology. Yes, you read that right; one of the strongest ways to embrace technology is to stand in a place of possibility – helping people redesign what they do … allowing them to re-shape themselves around the capabilities that emerging technology can bring forth.
Focusing on the developments of Machine To Machine (M2M) communication – I don’t see the “Meter Guy” walking around the side of my house anymore taking the readings every month. Instead, my meter talks to the City in some fashion and that data is used to generate and Utility Bill.
The Intelligence of Things is a real phenomenon and business practice needs to morph itself to leverage this new (Real Time) insight. We are in its early stages and one of the hurdles that will need to be crossed, when helping your clients embrace this new technology … is developing business and lifestyle practices to leverage the benefits of this new era of hyper connectivity.
For example; there might be a need to rethink how car companies might want to interact with their customers if the cars communicated real time with both their drivers and they manufacturer? The driver might get a notification suggesting they bring the car in for service – because the timing belt is loosening. Heck – the automotive company might want to consider developing a “Preventive Maintenance Crew” that stays on the road and meets their cars and drivers on the road to do small adjustments – before they become major problems.
Tennant developed an Analytics Solution that is client facing – giving them insight into how their fleet of floor cleaning machines were performing in the field. This offered Tennant to do things differently and raise the bar 10 fold in terms of Customer Service. Now their competitors have to deal with a new standard in the market place. Here is the article on Yahoo Finance.
The possibilities are endless; the moment you start thinking about designing solutions to business problems your clients are having. Help them change the way they are doing business so they can use the advances in technology to do more in the marketplace.
It’s a good time to be in Enterprise IT. Look at companies like Information Builders @infobldrs on Twitter; they have a robust Development Platform to help you do things like Predictive Analytics – Check out this link