How Digital and AI is re-defining customer experience and business models
As a CIO, your role today is changing from mere technology leadership to a business head driving revenues and new business models. IT earlier was a key support function, enabling other internal functions and operations to run efficiently. While technology was an important function in the company, it has now become even more central, as every business today is a digital technology business.
More and more customers are getting online, and every product or service is getting discovered, marketed, purchased, paid, serviced and reviewed online. Digital therefore, becomes the platform for targetted brand marketing, sales, service, and engagement through different channels like social (facebook, twitter), emails/chats (whatsapp, messenger) and many others.
Each of the customer touch points are getting digital, and the experience can be radically improved using machine learning (AI) to personalize the touch point to her requirements. Taking movies for instance, customers discovery can be made better by offering her communications and social updates of movies of her preference in terms of language, genre, location and timings. Similarly offers and deals can be marketed to her, which are most relevant based on her past purchase histroy, Actual ticket pruchase can be simplified and payments options can make the task swifter for her. In-cinema movie watching experience too can be improved by seamlessly providing the customer food, beverages and other services in the theatre at her seat.
Like these customer experience can be radically improved, the business models too are getting disrupted Using APIs, and open integrations, companies are changing their business model to become eco-systems for different stakeholders. Partners are able to better connect with company digitally and provide point solutions through APIs. This enables new sources of revenues, and also de-risks a business model’s dependence on a single revenue stream. For instance cinema ticket sales can be augmented with relevant offers on movie merchandising and near by shops in the malls.
Both customer’s experience and partner eco-systems are becoming more efficient by use of IOT (internet of things) and automation of internal systems. Where possible, devices are able to connect and share their status automatically. Equipment downtime can be prevented, and any problems can be quickly alerted to relevant teams.
All of these, are possible by using big data analytics of real time data coming from multiple systems. Digital IT needs to use both supervised learning and unsupervised learning algorithms to better understand the business. Supervised learning needs sample data of past behaviour, where we guide the system on customers behaviour in the past, to predict and offer relevant solutions in the future. Un-supervised learning is useful to derive insights without any human guidance, system on its own is able to surface new information.
As a CIO, you must have a high level understanding of these algorithms, and be able to identify opportunities where you can apply these to differentiate and build new business revenue streams. Only those CIO and business heads will thrive, who can apply these artificial intelligence algorithms in unique and creative ways before others. Businesses are today dependent more on technology than ever before, and you as a CIO have this unique advantage to lead the businesses of the future.